Reviewer: Taryn Coutinho
Life Skill Tool for Teachers
Freeing Freddie- The Dream Weaver
Brent Feinberg is a dynamic young South African who is dedicated to making a positive impact on the world. He was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa 26 years ago. Feinberg faced challenges within the schooling system: being a bright, gifted learner he never quite felt that the system supported his needs. Instead, it created a sense of anxiety and fear, which led him to learn about understanding the power of fear and how it has a negative effect on a person’s development and growth.
Feinberg has written a magical set of books that help learners, students and adults tackle and learn how to positively deal with their fear and to realise their dreams. Feinberg has been an integral part of the Tomorrow Trust (TT)’s journey — a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) that works exclusively with orphans and vulnerable children to provide integrated education and holistic support in a sustainable manner. It enables young learners to focus on their education and access opportunities they would otherwise be denied.
Through his exposure to the work of the TT, Feinberg found that many children and youth were working from a base of fear, and that this hampers their academic and self-growth. With these emotional challenges it is clear that practical tools are needed to support each individual on how to build skills to move forward. Thus, last year Feinberg launched his Freeing Freddie book range that works on multiple layers to help build an understanding on how to deal with issues of fear and how to build one’s dreams and goals.
The book is an enchanting story about the main character Freddie, who lives in a magical forest and becomes entangled in an old spider’s web. The old web that Freddie becomes entangled in is symbolic of his fears. The story then takes you on a journey as he meets a friendly giant spider – Mr Cotton – who becomes the boy’s teacher and guide, and helps him to overcome his fears.
Freddie learns to weave his own web of dreams and at the same time realises how we are all connected in some way, and that we all can make a positive impact on others and the world. This book is written in a style that helps children and adults gain insight into their own lives, fears and dreams through a charismatic and magical story. It is filled with simple methods of self-inquiry and brings joy to all those who read it and work with the activity book or workbook for older ages.
To date, Freeing Freddie has assisted 2 500 learners, students and adults both nationally and internationally. The book comes with a teacher’s manual detailing five lesson plans to make it easy to use by teachers, if requested. Feinberg has generously donated a large percentage back to TT to support their education programmes. When you buy this book, 70% of proceeds go back to the NGO.
Feinberg’s book range is made of three books:
Sedhoo Padayachee, a grade 10, 11 and 12 English teacher, said about the book: “The reader and the workbook are very professionally and impressively put together. The artwork complements the written content very well. The workbook certainly brings the reader alive. There are very valuable lessons for learners and teachers. There is great merit in what is being taught, and a book like this certainly can be used at schools, albeit as part of the Life Orientation syllabus.”
Finally, the lessons from the book have a profound impact in teaching young South Africans to deal with regressed fear that later manifests into anger and may result in harmful hate and suffering.