This booklet, geared toward children ages 2-6 years, tells the story of a Native American boy named Marvis as he prepares for and provides witness testimony in a criminal court case.
The story of Marvis and his toy coyote, Rockee, is part of a series of materials for children who are participating in the justice system as victims or witnesses, created by the Center for Court Innovation’s Child Witness Materials Development Project with funding by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). Designed to support children during their involvement in the criminal justice and child welfare systems, this booklet’s target audience is American Indian and Alaska Native children, ages 2-6 years who are involved in the criminal court system. The story follows Marvis, who is a witness in a criminal court case; it focuses on normalizing and validating children’s feelings and experiences, teaching healthy coping and resilience-building skills, and explaining the roles of the criminal justice practitioners with whom a child may interact. Throughout the story, children are prompted to acknowledge how they feel and are encouraged to perform several activities such as drawing animals. Descriptions of breath and memory exercises that will help them relax are included along with a list of suggestions for what to do when experiencing difficult feelings.