An important figure in the success of the renowned Children's Program at the Betty Ford Center is receiving attention in its 10th year with the program. The important contributor is the cartoon character Beamer, which has helped communicate safety and support to children ages 7 to 12 who are affected by a family member's substance use disorder.
“Sometimes kids grab hold of a character to gain meaning in their own lives,” said Children's Program national director Jerry Moe. “Beamer is our mascot and ambassador that helps reinforce all of the skills we are teaching.”
The media company Wonder Media produced six animated lessons featuring Beamer that reinforce the messages taught to Children's Program participants. “There is so much research available that proves the effectiveness of using animation to make complicated ideas simple for children,” said Wonder Media CEO Terry Thoren.
The Beamer character also is used in the children's program at the Brighton Center for Recovery in Detroit. “The Beamer character is something the kids can easily relate to,” said center social worker Patricia Schafer. “Their own feelings and experiences are validated when they read about what it is like for Beamer living with addiction in his home.”