NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Students at North Plainfield's East End Elementary School received a very special visit on Feb. 16 when author, professor, and child psychologist Kathleen DiMario stopped by to discuss her book “What Kind of Dog Am I?” and deliver an important lesson about self-discovery to students.

Co-authored and self-published in December 2015 by DiMario and her daughter Kelly, along with then 16-year-old illustrator Emily Foster, ‘What Kind of Dog Am I?” is centered on Posha, Kelly’s now 10-year-old rescue dog. While Posha ‘knows she is a rescue dog who is happy, loves her dog-mommy and has funny front paws that always turn out like a ballet dancer’s feet, everyone she meets wants to know what kind of dog she is.

DiMario told TAPinto North Plainfield that in writing “What Kind of Dog Am I?” the goal was for children to follow Posha’s journey of self-discovery and learn the valuable life lessons of how they, too, can find their own true identity and build their self-esteem.

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During her visit, she provided students with details about Posha, including what makes her special and different. She also read her book and interacted with students, asking them about their interests, pets, and to share with her what they feel makes them special.

“Every since Posha was born, people kept stopping Kelly and asking her what kind of dog Posha was. We had DNA testing but our vet asked us ‘what do you care?’ And he was right and thought that was great topic for kids,” she said. “Those labels and names we put on people, kids, even dogs, brand them for the rest of their lives. It is silly and they don’t mean anything. My main goal for this book is to raise self-esteem and teach children that their identity is about how they feel about themselves.”

For her next book, DiMario said she is working with the Ocean County Planetarium and plans to publish “Posha, The First Female Astronaut Goes to Mars." “I’ve done a lot of research and while there is a lot of stuff out there for STEM and being an astronaut for middle school, there isn’t much for elementary-age children,” she said, noting that her goal for that book is to ‘empower little girls and teach them about the importance of STEM.’

"We want to thank our special guest Mrs. DiMario for coming here today and sharing her story about Posha,” said East End Principal John Ferguson, noting that through the book, students were taught an important message. “Although we are all different, we are all special because there are people who love us, we love them, and all of us have something to give to another person…”

In addition to writing children’s books and speaking with students throughout the state, DiMario serves as CEO of Second Acts Career Services in Toms River and as an adjunct professor in Ocean County College’s School of Business, Social Science and Human Services where she teaches several psychology courses. For additional information or to purchase books, visit www.PoshatheRescuedDog.com or follow Posha on Facebook (/PoshatheRescuedDog), Twitter (@posharecueddog), and Instagram (PoshtheRescuedDog). Videos featuring Posha can also be viewed on YouTube.

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