The Chicago Journal

Erica Jones Unveils Debut Children’s Book ‘Ready, Set, Bet’ Helping Children Acquire Lifelong Skills Through a Meaningful Story

A child’s developmental years are crucial; hence, growing children deserve the best kind of education and entertainment that suits their every need. “Ready, Set, Bet” is a colorful children’s book by Erica Jones that is both educational and entertaining. Ready Set Bet Big Dog and Little Cat Race to Get Cheese Pizza is a delightful storybook that involves two main characters, Big Dog and Little Cat, along with many other animal characters. Big Dog is very tech-savvy and enjoys utilizing technology for about everything. Little Cat, on the other hand, is an amazingly simple cat who enjoys a more traditional way of problem-solving. 

Together they will teach children how to problem solve as well as complete tasks using two different methods teaching them to reach their goals.

Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Erica Jones has always been very intrigued by cartoons like Tom and Jerry, Garfield, and other animals’ characters. “There was something very captivating about animal characters that possessed human-like characteristics,” explained the renowned author. 

At the age of seven, she picked up a pencil and began creating characters of her own which eventually developed into a deep passion for art and drawing. Erica would study art and practice her craft every chance she would get, turning to the history of art and completely falling in love with artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso at the age of thirteen. She would then start experimenting with different art styles such as Modern Art, Photorealism, Pop Art, and more.

She discovered that she had a deep interest in Editorial and Illustrative Cartoons. In no time, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with her associate degree in Graphic Design and Interactive Multimedia. Her relentless passion for art eventually blossomed into a dream, culminating in her decision to pursue a career in becoming a children’s author and illustrator. 

After witnessing the ongoing violence and senseless crimes rampant in her city, Erica Jones became even more adamant about using her talent for good. So, she decided to create a line of children’s books that focused on critical thinking, problem-solving, and healthy competition. “I feel that these are very important life skills that are starting to diminish,” explained Erica. 

Thus, her debut children’s book “Ready, Set, Bet” was born. The book provides children with not just a storybook but also educational flashcards that allow them to answer various questions regarding the story using actual scenes from the book. “Ready, Set, Bet” was created with a rigid learning system with various developmental steps that aid in learning and keep the child engaged. This combines children’s entertainment with education, allowing them to develop holistically and pick up valuable life lessons as they continue to read on. 

“By this time, children began utilizing a different area of their brains that fosters critical thinking while prompting a smooth transition in assisting the child with the ability to increase their attention spans with the properly guided speed,” said Erica Jones. Furthermore, “Ready, Set, Bet” also offers a coloring and activity book that will allow children to feel a sense of satisfaction by allowing them to release healthy endorphins.

The last step in the system is a reward system which makes the child feel accomplished, strengthening the child’s confidence. 

Soon, Erica Jones hopes to lead larger projects, including spreading her positive message and attending wonderful events that support early childhood education. “I also see myself becoming a proud author and illustrator with fifteen volumes under my belt. I see this program being converted into an educational television show reaching children all around the world,” shared the esteemed author. www.readysetbetchildrensbooksbyerica.com

Tension Rises Between Amazon and Staten Island Facilities Union

When workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island voted to form a labor union two months ago, it was the first time that any group had been successful in the major corporation. Leaders of this movement have since worked tirelessly towards achieving their mission, visiting Washington D.C. and presenting testimony before a Senate committee.

Chris Smalls is a labor leader and fashion figure who has been recognized by the public for his role in both of those worlds.

The tension between the company and its employees is at an all-time high as several worker-organizers were fired, and the move by Amazon has sparked a heated response from the union.

Two US senators – Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand – have called on Amazon CEO Andy Jassy to acknowledge the union rather than fight it.

Meanwhile, Amazon is contesting the results of their election in response to more than two dozen objects lodged by concerned parties that accused them and their regional office on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The agency denied the company’s charges against it.

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The Amazon Labor Union announced that they will be traveling to Phoenix, Arizona for a rally calling on the company during a hearing that the company initially requested be held closed to the public but was denied.

The battle to organize Amazon’s warehouse workforce is far from over, but the Staten Island Union victory offers a hopeful sign for organized labor. Other facilities have tried and failed in their bid for recognition before. As a result of the union, Amazon will likely turn to other warehouses instead.

Amazon has been vocal about their opinion that while employees have the freedom to join a union, they prefer communicating directly with workers.

The grassroots union is accused of intimidating employees and leveraging organizing efforts to win the unionization.

The attorney for the union fired back at these objections, calling them “racist and absurd.”

“These objections are insulting to the workers of JFK8 who survived the pandemic and defeated a trillion-dollar company just to see Amazon use their highly-paid lawyers to silence the voices of thousands of their workers,” said union president Chris Smalls.

The Twitter account for the union declared war on Amazon after they fired another worker-organizer.

Kelly Nantel, a spokesperson for Amazon, explained that the employee’s violent workplace behavior was what prompted them to fire him.

Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of Labor Education Research at Cornell University’s School for Industrial and Labor Relations said that Amazon’s actions are unsurprising. She pointed out they have avoided unionization since long before the turn of this century.

“They’re going to fight to stay non-union for a very long time,” she added. “Until the cost of being non-union becomes greater than the cost of being union, and that’s going to take having their customers, and their investors put a great deal of pressure on them.”

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