Second-Grader At Apex Academy Embraces Hearing Aids, Publishes Children’s Book Sharing Her Experiences
Jade Owens, a second-grader at Apex Academy, published her first children’s book, celebrating the hearing impaired and spreading the message of how it’s okay to be different. Her experience with Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss has led her to see life quite differently than most girls her age.
At just eight years old, this young lady proves to be wise beyond her years. Sharing her own experiences, Jade is sending a positive message across the world and rocking a pair of hot pink hearing aids, while she does it!
"Friends can look different, like different things, and also have different needs," she says, embracing her own differences in a world, where other children don’t always understand the significance or purpose of wearing hearing aids. “Everyone has obstacles, but mine is hearing loss,” she continues.
Through her work, she’s taking a strong stance against bullying, choosing to make a difference in this world instead of accepting the role of a victim.
“This wasn't easy, because sometimes people say mean things to me about them. One day I decided to be brave and tell the world about my amazing hearing aids. But, now, I’m no longer embarrassed, because they are actually cool.”
Many of her fellow students had the opportunity to learn just how cool they are, too.
Apex Academy is a public charter school in the East Cleveland Area and part of the National Heritage Academies' Kindergarten through Eighth Grade programming. As part of an early childhood reading initiative, her school celebrated its annual National Reading Month by sharing Jade’s newly published book with all of her classmates, including fellow first and second graders.
"National Reading Month is a time to celebrate the beliefs that we hold year-round like instilling a love of reading every day," said Rachel Bodenmiller, Director of the English and Language Arts Curriculum at NHA. "We get to outwardly celebrate the love of reading and acknowledge the habit."
The school held a book reading event, honoring non-other than Miss Jade Owens, as she shared her passion for reading and writing through socially-distanced assembly, entitled Jade Heard It All.
Taking place in the school's gymnasium, Miss Owens was able to read her book to first and second-grade students, who would then receive a paperback copy of the book and be encouraged to follow along, as she reads.
“It's quite an accomplishment for Jade to be a published author at this point in her life," said Megan Sutula, Dean of Lower Elementary at Apex Academy. "We are proud of her and are pleased to share in this opportunity alongside her."
Image of Jade Owens via JadeHeardItAll.com
At this event, Jade's Mother, Debrielle Lozada, recounted on how her daughter began writing this book and explaining how it started as a“make-believe story" and how it "transitioned, over time.” She explained how Jade has always had a passion for writing and that she “always walks around with a pen and paper."
For Jade, writing is a superpower. And, her story is felt through her words, and others are inspired by those words that she writes.
Other children may not have always understood Jade's hearing aids. But, they would now learn how special other children were because they have them.
Some children would physically touch her ears, trying to figure out how they worked. Sometimes, they would get aggressive. Other times, it was just too much to handle.
But, by writing her book and describing her experiences to others, she has been able to minimize those challenges and instead redirect the conversation. Jade is an educator.
Image of Jade Owens via JadeHeardItAll.com
“We all are different in many different ways. I have Bilateral Sensorineural hearing loss and have been wearing hearing aids since I was 3-years-old. It hasn't always been so easy for me. I never wanted anyone to feel how I felt every time I walked in a room -- or in my classroom,” she explains.
“It wasn’t a good feeling at all. People stare, call you names, and tease you for being different. I've learned it’s okay to be different, and now I want everyone else just like me, or different from me, to know IT'S OKAY!”
“We are all told ‘Live your life to the fullest,’” she continues. “I am here to do just that. Jade Heard It All is written by me to encourage friendliness. I want my book to inspire everyone to make good choices and to be kind to one another. After reading Jade Heard It All, my readers will have an idea of what I deal with on a daily basis due to having hearing loss. The good and bad. My message is simple! It’s ok to be different!”
In addition to her new book, Jade shares her message across social media, educating others, while inspiring them to “be different.” Jade is also the owner of a super cool online shop, where she sells her own line of hairbows, notebooks, and autographed merchandise, “no bullying” bookmarks and, of course, her new book, Jade Heard It All, which can also be found on Amazon.