Retired teacher still helps children

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Patty Stepler and her husband Larry wrote songs such as “Amazing Me” and “Attitude” to help youngsters believe in themselves and become successful. Stepler gives presentations and designed a program for schools to help children unleash their dream power.

Patricia Stepler, a retired music teacher, has stepped into a second career based on her 32 years of experience. She wants students to feel better about themselves, and be nice to each other.

“I saw with the kids in school, when you present anti-bullying programs, you tend to get more of what you were talking about,” she said. “They really need more self-esteem. I wanted to find a way to motivate them, to find the potential inside of them that they haven’t been using.”

Stepler formed Your Dream Power and wrote a book by the same name, geared toward children at a third grade and higher reading level. Corresponding lessons can be taught in the classroom, with the teacher spending five to 10 minutes a day boosting the children’s sense of self.

“I make it easy,” Stepler said. “Everything is laid out, because teachers don’t have the time to create a curriculum.”

She and her husband Larry Stepler, who is a retired instrumental music instructor, also created a music program with original songs.  Students at Barbara Ingram School for the Performing Arts in Hagerstown, Md. recorded the songs. The first batch was for grades kindergarten through second; the next for upper elementary.

The book Your Dream Power deals with a young man who comes home for his best friend’s wedding. Memories of his tough childhood return, but his life had changed for the better when he met Danny. Danny, based on Stepler’s own son, had set goals to make his dreams come true.

In real life, Danny asked for advice on how to achieve what he wanted to do, and went through his own share of disappointments. But he persisted, Stepler said. One of the first goals he set was to hit the most homeruns in Little League when he was twelve, and he did it.

Teachers and parents alike can use the materials of Your Dream Power to guide their children through steps to take if things aren’t going exactly the way they want.

“In the past, I saw kids blossom when they were encouraged,” Stepler said. “Teachers are so worried about passing the standardized tests, they are forgetting about the child.”

Stepler has a pilot program going in a school system, and is open to serving any organization that works with children. She is also a consultant for Fred Pryor Seminars, speaking to businesses who have employees with the same attitude problems as children.

Her book is available on amazon.com and potential clients may contact her through her website www.yourdreampower.com