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Super Power Baby Project
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886 people pledged
NZ$70,000 minimum target
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Super Power Baby Project
Project 2013-09-03 06:20:37 +1200
The Super Power Baby Project is about creating a new language to describe disability. A language that celebrates awesomeness and teaches the world to see the beauty in these amazing Super Power children. To do this we are making a photographic art book of children from all over New Zealand with a range of chromosomal and genetic conditions - aka "super powers". It has stunning photographs and tells the amazing stories of each child and identifies their super powers. These are the unique things they can do because of their syndrome.
To make this dream happen we need to 'pre-sell' approximately 1,000 books here on pledgeme, that's where you come in! Our $70,000 target seems daunting, but we know that it only requires 1,000 people like you to believe in the project and to order this beautiful, inspiring book.
Photographed by Award Winning New Zealand photographer and Mum to one of these precious children, Rachel Callander has experience, expertise and passion for telling the stories of New Zealand's Super Power Babies. The book will create and communicate a language for New Zealanders to talk about these children without negative connotations. It is uplifting, positive and brings people together encouraging and celebrating diversity in their own communities and families.
THE BOOKIt will be hard covered, have beautiful paper, approx. 150- 175 pages and 275mm x330mm. There will be photographs of 50 New Zealand children with a varied range of syndromes and genetic conditions. If the project reaches its target we plan to complete most of the photography by Christmas this year. This will enable us to write, design and print the book in time to post it to you by mid 2014.
Already we have received 70+ submissions from families with Super Power Babies keen to be involved in the book. We announced the plan for the Super Power Baby Project via Facebook in late June 2013. With just a brief project description and a few photographs of Super Power Babies, word quickly spread as people all over New Zealand liked, shared and commented on the page. In response to this we created the website www.superpowerbabies.com to explain the project further and to find families who would like to be involved. We asked interested parents of Super Power Babies to fill in a questionnaire about their child.
Here are some comments from Super Power Baby parents:
Q: Tell me about your child's super powers:
“Tymon has many super powers. He has the ability to lift anyone's mood with just one laugh. He is able to melt hearts with his incredible smile which is also contagious. Tymon is able to break down the many stereotypes associated with down syndrome with just one hug. His cuddles are to die for and just one will have anyone coming back for more. Tymon is so brave he is often pricked and prodded for blood and not one tear is shed. Instead he just smiles his way through it.
His biggest superpower however was his ability to make our family complete and his power to teach us to love unconditionally.”
Angela G - Parent of child with Down Syndrome
“Kaahu's beauty and spirit are amazing. I can't take her out without strangers stopping to say what a beautiful baby she is. People are always telling me how calm and content she is. She makes eye contact with strangers and smiles. It is very, very rare to see her object to anyone: she accepts everyone who comes into her world with her open eyes and cheeky smile.
Kaahu's super power is that she's perfect. She sleeps through the night, doesn't cry and always wakes up with a smile.”
Gina C - Parent of child with Prader-willi Syndrome
THE TEAMRachel Callander: Rachel is Mum to Super Power Baby Evie Amore who passed away in 2010 at the age of 2 ½ years. This gives her insight into the lives of Super Power Babies and their family's triumphs and challenges. This book is a long term dream of Rachel's which has been years in the planning. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Photography), is an Associate of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (ANZIPP) and in 2011 was awarded the title of New Zealand Wedding Photographer of the Year at the annual NZIPP Iris Awards.
Sam Callander: Dad to Evie Amore and passionate backer of the dream. Sam is the project manager and behind the scenes admin nerd. In his day job Sam works for the Economic Development Agency in South Canterbury helping businesses succeed. This project combines his passion for helping people achieve their dreams and his belief that all children are born awesome.
Evie Amore Callander: The message and movement of the Super Power Baby Project is Evie's - it was her idea. Evie was with us for 2 and 1/2 years and in that time taught us so much: unconditional love, strength, living in the moment and most of all about Super Powers. In a world obsessed with charts and measuring children's progress from day zero; Evie taught us that being unique is totally awesome and that a language of 'super powers', (i.e. the great things people CAN do and who they are as people) is so much cooler than some of our current attempts to describe distinctiveness. This applies universally to all children.
THE BUDGETBudgeting for the project has been carefully planned. The cost of the project is $70,000 allowing a print run of 1,000 books. This includes:
- Travel to eight locations around NZ,
- Accommodation, we'll be staying with friends and family where ever possible to lower costs
- Hiring studio space & lighting equipment, we've already received generous offers from many NZ photographers to use their studios which will help heaps
- Design & Printing, quotes from NZ publishing company Mary Egan Ltd
- the cost of rewards including postage - additional costs such as GST, the all impartant PledgeMe fee and a 10% contingency
Message keeps spreading
10/05/2015 at 12:39 PM
It is with great joy and pride to announce that the Super Power Baby Project, the book you brought into reality, has been awarded the Outstanding Book of the Year Award for Independent Spirit in the international 2015 Independent Publishers Book Awards.
Super Power Baby Project has been singled-out by the award organisers as a “pioneering effort” that "portrays toddlers living with chromosomal and genetic conditions in exquisitely photographed settings and poses that bring forth all their beauty and joy of life.”
The Outstanding Book of the Year awards “recognise the work of publishers who exhibit the courage and creativity necessary to take chances, break new ground, and bring about change, not only to the world of publishing, but to our society.” Award winners were chosen from among almost 6,000 worldwide entries.
We offer you a massive THANK YOU for backing this project while it was just a dream and we hope that you feel the same pride and achievement that we do. It would not have happened without you.
More important than any award is the impact the project is having on people's attitudes. Since the launch of the book Rachel has spoken to audiences throughout New Zealand, advocating the message contained within the book. That the words we currently use, and have been given to describe disability; retarded, incompatible with life, abnormal, developmentally delayed and dis-abled, take potential away and are unacceptable when talking about a human life. “Disability” is not a deficit within the individual but shows up the deficits in our culture and society that does not fully accept, encourage and celebrate humanity; no matter what it looks like. The specific words ‘Super Powers’ are not as important as adopting the attitude of looking for and celebrating the good, the beautiful and the potential in each person. Audiences of this message have included over two thousand TEDx Auckland attendees, Ministry of Education Special Education staff, paediatricians and many other groups across the country.
Rachel was also invited to meet with Minister for Disability Issues, Hon Nicky Wagner. While she is yet to change her portfolio's name to Super Power Possibilities, the minister does now have a copy of the book and is no doubt inspired to take a more strengths based approach.
Also, in July, Rachel will be presenting at a Perinatal Bioethics Symposium held at the University of Otago. One of the four sessions will be focussed on the very issues that the Super Power Baby Project addresses – the "language and approaches professionals take to children with differences." This will be an incredible opportunity to share with the leaders in their fields the things we learnt from Evie, and from all the amazing families we met on the journey of making the book.
Thanks again for your support of this project. If you know of someone who would like a copy of the book, they can use the coupon code "IndependentSpirit" to save $10 when they order it through www.superpowerbabyproject.org - our way of celebrating the award.
Lots of Love,
Rachel & Sam Callander
Live Stream of Book Launch
09/08/2014 at 8:06 PM
We are really pleased to let you know that we are able to live stream our book launch.
At 1:30 on Sunday 10th August (with any luck) you can find our stream here:
Thanks again for making this all possible, the book lauch will be a wonderful celebration of the dream that became a reality :)
If you'd like to see what your book looks likes being packaged up, have a watch of this video.
Sam & Rachel.
Last update before your book arrives!!!!
08/08/2014 at 9:51 PM
Yes it's true, precisely 10 months since you helped fund this dream, we have a real book to share with the world. Of course, we will share it with you first as it would not have happened without you, you amazing human you!!!!! A crack team of Evie's besties are meeting up tomorrow and packaging the books. While we have worked as hard as we can to make sure we have your correct address to post your book to, we know that with the sheer volume of pre-orders there may be a few errors and we will fix them up as they arise. Bear with us! Orders will be tracked. For international orders the shipping times will be much slower so we thank you in advance for your patience.
The book launch party is in Timaru at Sopheze on the Bay (thanks guys!!) this Sunday at 2pm. Over 300 people are expected to be there, it's going to be very full and very exciting. If you are coming, please come at 2pm sharp as we would like to start the presentation while you still have a bubbly in your hand :) Doors will open at 1:50. If you didn't RSVP you are still welcome to squeeze in. We are thrilled to have some of the Super Power Babies and their families coming to the launch, this is the most exciting part of all as we can have a true celebration!!!
With the books arrival, we are very emotional at seeing this beautiful dream amongst us as a reality.
Once you receive your book, tell us what you think!! Share the love on social media, show your friends and family and spread the joy :)
You can email us: [email protected]
Message us or post on Facebook: facebook.com/SuperPowerBabyProject
Or share your thoughts/photos on instagram or twitter with the hashtag #SPBPbook
Much love and massive hugs
Sam and Rachel
Book Launch Date Set!!!!
03/07/2014 at 8:37 PM
We are THRILLED to invite you to the Super Power Baby Project book launch. Exactly 10 months after you pledged to make this all possible we will be celebrating a REAL book.
Here are the details:
At the book launch you'll be able to pick up your pre-ordered copy and have it signed. Meet some Super Power Babies from the book and hear a short presentation. You'll also be able to find your name in the book alongside the other 885 amazing pledgers :)
Recieving Your Copy
If you can't make the book launch we'll be shipping your book/s to you on Monday 11 August by courier. Please give us your address here if you haven't had the chance to already.
The Super Power Baby Poject Message Spreads
After the Sunday TV peice we heard from the orgainers of TEDx Auckland that they'd like Rachel to speak at their event. It is a huge honour to take the message of the project which you've supported to an even wider audience. The conference is attended by about 2,500 people and they will make a video of Rachel's presentation which we can share with you... and the world.
Sam & Rachel
June Update. +We need your Postal Address
22/06/2014 at 12:41 PM
Good afternoon. After many months of photos, travelling, interviews and story telling, we are pleased to let you know that Super Power Baby Project is written and at the printers!!!!!
To send you your book/s we need your POSTAL ADDRESS. We did not receive your address as part of the 'PledgeMe' process so please take a moment fill out this address form.
We can't wait to send you your copy, at this stage it's looking like mid August.
Lots of Love
Rachel & Sam Callander
05/05/2014 at 8:03 PM
All Content Sent
This Easter Sunday is Super Power Baby Sunday
17/04/2014 at 10:04 PM
We hope you have a happy and safe Easter. One of your highlights can be seeing Super Power Babies celebrated on Sunday at 7pm on TV1 and thinking: "I made that happen :)"
One of the joys of funding a crowdfunding project is knowing that along with a like-mineded community you've made it a reality. In the case of the Super Power Baby Project the message of celebrating distinctiveness has reached further than we imagined and the book isn't even finished yet!
Take a moment to look at the comments and shares of our Facebook post and Sunday's Facebook post. As you scroll through, think about how exciting this is for Super Power families. All the families we met are immensly proud of their kids - we hope that seeing people pouring love towards them is great encouragement.
The proudest thing for us is thinking that our daughter Evie is inspiring people to use language that celebrates awesomeness and to see the beauty in these amazing Super Power children.
Tune in and enjoy the show. Thanks for making it possible.
Sam and Rach Callander
Progress Update April 2014
06/04/2014 at 5:29 PM
Photoshoots are complete
Text that will go with images is ⅓ complete
Sunday TVNZ have finished filming for their mini-doco and it could air as soon as Easter Sunday!
First draft of book cover received
Still on target for getting the book to your letter box in July
What a summer it was. We’ve met and photographed 75 amazing children from all over New Zealand. Each time we walked into another family’s home we were grateful to you for pledging to make this all possible. For Rachel and I it’s been very healing to get to know families going on a similar journey to ours. Evie helped give us an instant connection and we feel honoured to have met so many extraordinary people.
The making of the Super Power Baby Project book is our chance to share this experience with all of you. Rachel is doing a great job of writing short stories to go with the photos, she is ⅓ through and will ramp that up in the next two weeks.
Friday was an especially exciting day in Super Power Baby Project land as we were privileged to be interviewed by TVNZ's Janet McIntyre in Rach’s studio in Timaru. The interview was for Sunday and is likely to air at Easter time. That’s really soon!!! It means that in about a week you may start seeing adverts for the show featuring super power babies!! We will send another update when we know for sure when it will air.
Also on Friday we received the first mockups of covers for the book from the design team at Mary Egan Ltd. Woohoo!
Thanks for following along the journey with us so far. Our timeline for the book in your letterbox is still July (maybe late July). That means we need to get all the content to the publishers this month if we can. We will allow pre-orders up until we hit the big PRINT button in mid-late May.
In the meantime, watch out for those ads on TV for Sunday and feel free to get in touch with us via:
or email [email protected]
Sam & Rachel Callander
The Super Power Baby Project
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10/10/2013 at 3:42 AM
Hi Super Power Baby Project crowd funders.
Thank you so so so much for your support. Here is a wee video of us saying a big THANK YOU!!!!!
We look forward to keeping you updated with our progress over the coming months.
Lots of love, Rachel & Sam
The Target is Reached!
08/10/2013 at 5:43 AM
[head shakes] can’t find words. Also many tears.
What a phenomenal achievement. A community of people, from all over New Zealand and the world have joined forces to bring an amazing project to life.
Today has been exhilarating, nearly 100 pledges and heaps of people sharing the page. There were so many people refreshing www.pledgeme.co.nz/1392 that it crashed for a while there. That sort of enthusiasm is what has carried this campaign.
An email update can never be thank you enough, but thank you all SO much. Especially to those who pledged a month ago when this was just a tiny, ambitious dream.
Now the dream is real. There will be much work ahead (if you can call meeting and photographing Super Power Babies work) but for now we are celebrating.
There are still two days to go, so if people want their copy of the book they can still pledge.
So much love to you all – the Super Power Baby Project begins!!!!!
A few days and a few dollars to go.
06/10/2013 at 7:08 AM
You are all extraordinary. There are 564 of you and the number is growing fast. You are the Super Power Baby Project people, the community who is bringing something very special to life. Your pledges create the backbone of the Super Power Baby Project which is dedicated to:
- A new language to describe disability
- Celebrating awesomeness
- Teaching the world to see beauty
- Giving hope to families
Every day we are receiving messages from people whose attitudes and lives are changing because the project… and we’ve hardly begun!
This is really just a long winded way of saying THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH. As we write this $56,760 has been pledged, 80% of the way to the $70k target thanks to you.
There are four days left. We will be sharing, linking and emailing like crazy until 10th October and I’m sure a few others will be too. We also have some national media coverage coming [we hope]. So thank you for your patience, support and enthusiasm. It sounds cliché but its true; we would not have got this far without YOU.
We can’t wait to start the project and photograph these beautiful children from all over NZ, making a stunning photographic art book showcasing just how incredible they are and then sending it to you, the Super Power Baby Project people. There’s just an intense four days to get through first.
Lots of love
Rachel & Sam
A $5,000 Pledge
01/10/2013 at 7:45 AM
Wow oh wow. Incredible stuff!
This afternoon one amazing individual pledged Five Thousand Dollars, yup, Five with a capital 5.
The pledge took the total from $42,600 to $47,600... more than two-thirds to the target!
They chose the reward: "Super Power Books where they're needed most." This remarkable contribution means that places all over New Zealand such as Starship Hospital, The Champion Centre, Neo-Natal wards and hospitals will have these books available to give to new parents of Super Power Babies giving them a burst of hope at the beginning of their daunting yet amazing journey. 75 copies of the Super Power Baby book will be sent all over NZ.
Thank you so so so much.
28/09/2013 at 1:27 AM
Hi there Super Power Baby supporters.
Thank you so much for your pledge, thanks to you the dream is becoming a reality.
We've received 417 pledges totalling $38,655... that's more than halfway to our target! There are now just two weeks to go to reach the project target of $70,000.
The community of people who have heard about the project and are backing it is growing fast and it's SO EXCITING to see the impact the project is already having. Here are a few stories we hope you'll enjoy:
WISDOM & GENEROSITY
A 96 year old gentleman who has pledged by cheque emailed us saying "I admire you and believe, like you, that the title for these precious children is wrong. We must have a title that honours them." Beautiful!
This email had us feeling really proud:
"I just wanted say how wonderful I think your project is. I heard about Super Power Babies in class (I am a 21year old Nursing Student at Otago Polytechnic) when one of our lecturers told us about it. We then found the website and it was posted on our group page to take a look at - the word is getting out there!"
This beautiful message had us in happy tears:
"Hi Rachel, I just watched your video about the project, with my 3 year old daughter. She said "ooooh she's so cute". But next came the question... "What's wrong with her mummy?" After a short pause (thinking how am I going to do this one) I thought with your beautiful and amazing idea I tried (my hardest) not to use the words you are trying to discourage. I used the words "super powers" a lot and I think I got the message through. Once I got on a roll it really wasn't that hard to only use positive language about these amazing children anyway."
ST ANDREWS PRIMARY SCHOOL - SUPER POWER MUFTI DAY
After seeing a newspaper article about the project, the school decided to have a Super Hero mufti day to celebrate the Super Power children at their school and raise money for the project. They raised $522 and had heaps of fun with their super hero costumes and games. Go St Andrews Primary School, you guys ROCK!
This week there will be fundraising mufti days in at least three other businesses here in our home town of Timaru, with more in the pipelines!
Thank you for your support, you guys are awesome.
Sam & Rach Callander
16/09/2013 at 7:27 PM
We've loaded a new video on the main page, one that gets to the heart of why we are doing the Super Power Baby Project. So here is the original video incase you missed it.
Two New Rewards
14/09/2013 at 9:56 PM
We've added two new rewards, they are both about getting the message out there.
Super Supportive - $140
Tell us the name of the organisation (e.g. school, kindy, group or hospital) or person you'd like to send a copy of the book to and we'll post it out with a note from you. Plus your copy of the Super Power Baby Project book with a hand written thank you note and your name printed in the book. (You'll be able to tell us the name once the project is successfully funded)
Super Power Books where they're needed most - $5,000
Your remarkable contribution means that places all over New Zealand such as Starship Hospital, The Champion Centre, Neo-Natal wards and hospitals will have these books available to give to new parents of Super Power Babies. You are giving these parents a burst of hope at the beginning of their daunting yet amazing journey. 75 copies of the Super Power Baby book sent all over NZ on your behalf, your name in the book and a handwritten thank you note from us.
Thanks again to everyone who is supporting this project.
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Seeing Super Powers
10/09/2013 at 10:00 PM
A wonderful Super Power Mum shares her thoughts about the Super Power Baby Project in our local radio ad campaign!
11/09/2013 at 7:38 AM
wowsers its been exciting seeing all the enthusiasm for this project. What an incredible group of people you are.
50 clever and generous people got in early and so the early bird price is sold out.
Mad respect also to those who could have chosen the early bird option but selected the full price anyway. We are totally blown away by you all.
Thanks for all your comments and shares, the Super Power Project is off to a flying start.
What a start
09/09/2013 at 12:16 AM
wow wow wow! What a start to the Pledgeme
campaign! In only 1 day, we have 32 pledgers and have raised just shy of
10% of the total required to make this happen. Thank you so much to all
of you who have shared the love and pledged! If we keep this up, this
amazing book will be for reals.