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Discovery Tales

Dayton, Ohio

Tina Donovan of Discovery Tales

Meet Tina Donovan, Founder of Discovery Tales, an interactive bibliotherapy-based curriculum for children.
What is Discovery Tales?
We’re teaching social competencies today for a brighter tomorrow for children. It’s a curriculum that has been designed on Saarni’s Theory of Emotional Competency. It’s been designed using Common Core Standards and the standards established by the American School Counseling Association. It’s a bibliotherapy-based curriculum. Bibliotherapy is a story with a therapeutic value.
The curriculum corresponds to the story, which strengthens the curriculum. It’s been field tested in a second grade classroom as well as a partial hospitalization program and it proved to be statistically significant in five out of the eight areas tests. The curriculum provides concrete examples for abstract ideas and gives children tools to assist them in regulating their emotions.
How did you come up with the idea?
I came up with the idea when I worked at the county juvenile court, and it seemed that every child walked through the door with a chip on their shoulder. I wanted to come up with something that was preventive oriented. I was divinely inspired one night with a story that centers on two main characters; Kelly, a 12-year-old girl who believes that she has a miserable, rotten life and wears a chip on her shoulder as proof, and Sparky, a 500-year-old star who takes Kelly to the Galaxy All-Star Camp where she learns to become a star in her own right.
What was the biggest surprise in starting your business?
That it would take us long as it has to get it out into the world!
What does a typical day in your business look like?
I meet with people in schools or organizations that might want to utilize the program. My mentor, Harry Couch and his partner Lou Luedtke from Third Millenium, have been working with me to launch the business.
I just finished 12 weeks of doing the curriculum at Edison Elementary, preparing for the lessons and getting materials together, making contacts with people within the community. Doesn’t seem like there’s a typical day, really!
What are some of the advantages to doing business in Ohio?
Dayton Development Coalition and the Morning Mentoring program at the Entrepreneur’s Center have been great resources for me. The Engineers’ Club has an Entrepreneur’s Night. It’s the third Thursday of the month, and that’s where I met Harry Couch and other people from the Engineers’ Club who have been helpful in this journey. I can’t say enough about them.
What inspires you?
I’m just inspired to help children. I’m very passionate about helping children becoming better equipped at identifying and expressing their feelings. Research indicates that being aware of your feelings and socially competent determines your success more than any other factor, including family background and IQ. It’s an essential skill, much like learning your ABC’s and learning to count that’s often overlooked. It’s my passion to help children learn these things, so they don’t turn out to be 35-years-old and struggling like I was!
What founders do you admire and why?
I would have to say Harry Couch and Lou Luedtke from Third Millenium. They have been awarded one patent and have 14 applications pending. They term their new product “covetics” or carbon metal composite. They have just been very inspiring, because they’ve been helpful mentoring me and giving me some life I wouldn’t otherwise have.
What’s next for you?
Some of my time is spent writing grants, and hopefully one of the grants will come through so I can get the curriculum in some area schools that are interested in the program.
Interview by Joe Baur

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