At first glance, Lois Ann Dismuke does not appear to be an inventor or entrepreneur. In fact, she gives the impression that she is merely a kind-hearted little lady with a mission and ministry. At least that's what she appears to be until she begins to talk about her creation called Judy Books.
Like many others, Lois Dismuke came to Augusta as a member of the armed forces in 1972. In 1988, after she ended her time in the Army, she returned to Augusta. She has been here ever since.
At 60 years young, Ms. Dismuke has invented a product that very well may change the way children learn and comprehend.
I sat down with Dismuke to discuss her impressive creation.
CHER: So, tell me about Judy Books.
MS. DISMUKE: I started creating Judy Books in 2009. Judy Books are books for children 5-11, that children write and illustrate themselves. As authors and illustrators, the children become fully engaged in their own creative process. They exercise their imagination and create their own stories. They nourish their artistic inclinations and design their own illustrations. And as a by-product, because the books are always handwritten, the child's writing and spelling also improve Also, I would hope that the time spent creating a Judy Book would give the child and the parents/grandparents/guardians (whomever) special time together.
CHER: That's quite an idea! Where did the idea come from?
Dismuke: The idea came because my granddaughter (Judy) moved from Augusta to Omaha, Neb. I wanted to send her a special letter to let her know how much I missed her, so I decided to write her a story book and use crafts to illustrate it. The first Judy Book was written to -- and about -- her. (She still has the original). I wanted her to write a book back to me. I was satisfied that she could.
Then I realized that ANY CHILD could do it ... become an author and illustrator.
CHER: So you were inspired by your granddaughter. Do the packages have everything the kids need to complete the books? Do the books have specific themes?
DISMUKE: Yes, Judy Books packages provide all the child would need to get started on a Judy Book. The package includes a story about a little girl named Judy who struggles to learn valuable life-lessons. (Judy is just the name of the character in my books.) The illustrations in each story are created from crafts such as are in the Judy Books package.
Also included in the package is writing paper and colored paper for the book cover. It also includes crafts for the creation of the illustrations. The crafts vary from package to package. But a hole-puncher and yarn is included in each Judy Books package so the child can bind the Judy Book.
Yes, each book has its own theme. One deals with the dangers of following the wrong path, another one deals with appreciating our armed forces, then there is one that deals with struggling with forgiveness, on who and what is a stranger, and one on learning to appreciate being part of the Christian family.
CHER: What is your ultimate goal with Judy Books?
MS. DISMUKE: Aside from seeing Judy Books used in homes all over the world, I would like to see Judy Books used in home schools, and homes for juveniles. I would like to see them used by the judicial system as a means for professionals to analyze the impact of social ills.
I would like to see them used in churches for the purpose of gauging the child's grasp on religious and moral information so that adults can determine where re-enforcement is needed, and anywhere else that they would prove useful.
CHER: I think you're on your way to reaching your goal.
MS. DISMUKE: The Lord willing, I hope so.
To find out more about Judy Books, visit www. judybooks.net.