By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – Roudy Derisse, a Delray Beach-based fitness coach, PE teacher and content creator – also known as “RJ Rise” – is the creator of the Ultimate 5 Squad comic book and coloring book, intended to help build confidence in children.
The forty-page books were first published in 2018, and RJ Rise is enthusiastic about the future possibilities, and the momentum of the public consciousness for Black Lives Matter movement, and expanding the target audience to people of all backgrounds.
RJ said, “The goal for the Ultimate 5 Squad is to be in every household. Any parent wants what’s best for their child so having a story that boosts their confidence, celebrates diversity and shows importance of teamwork – we can agree are things today’s parents want for their children.”
The book is about five ordinary friends, Q, Jada, Bronx, Destiny and Jayden who come together as one to help save planet Earth from danger. It is written to boost a child’s belief in themselves, help them think big and realize that they too are capable of great things even when faced with adversity.
RJ Rise writes, “As a school teacher I see it everyday how important it is for kids to believe in themselves. They need the tools to get them through tough moments. I created the Ultimate 5 Squad book, worksheets and other related activities to boost children’s confidence and help them think BIG!”
RJ Rise recounts how he was born in Montreal Canada to Haitian parents before moving to the United States at age ten and becoming a citizen. Growing up in New Jersey, he moved to Florida and started working with kids as a Physical Education teacher.
Learning that childhood obesity was becoming an epidemic, he worked with the Palm Beach County PTA to host a joint ‘Family Fun Run’. Following that, RJ decided to write a children’s book to boost their self esteem, with the help of two freelancers, one to help with the storyline and another for the art work.
Now RJ says, “The Ultimate 5 Squad feels more like a movement. The story is a great way to introduce children to diverse protagonist characters. Children no matter their backgrounds will feel more confidence in themselves after reading this story.”
“We’re now in a world where we need to see, appreciate and celebrate people’s color. The story and beautiful illustrations help children with that. When we respect other’s differences it makes for a more loving and peaceful world.”
“The most rewarding part about creating the Ultimate 5 Squad so far has been the feedback and pictures of happy children holding our books. Feedbacks are pouring in from parents who’ve been looking for a book like this.”