Beginning Awareness Basic Education Studies

302 S. Union
Decatur, IL 62522

Serving school aged children.

What is BABES?

BABES combines puppets, stories and discussions designed to help school children develop positive living skills. Volunteers bring the 6 week prevention program to K-3rd grade students in public and parochial schools.

How does the program work?

Following an orientation by BABES Coordinator, volunteers are paired and scheduled into area schools. Scripted lessons, "stories" are told to the children by the 7 colorful puppets and the stories are followed by lively discussions. Each lesson builds on skills learned or topics discussed in the previous lesson. These stories, adapted to current language and times have been presented since the mid-'80s. In 2005, a new curriculum was added to be presented strictly to 3rd graders. This new curriculum builds on the foundations of the original set of stories and brings additional skills to the 3rd graders.

What about these puppets?

Button and Bow McKitty: Two kittens, a brother and a sister, from a two parent family. Many of the stories center around these two characters.

Myth Mary: A friend to the kittens, Myth Mary is a squirrel who often shares myths or mis-informed information to her friends.

Early Bird: This bird and his trade-mark "honk honk" warns the children that something has been shared that is not quite right and to be sure and listen to the correct information that is about to be presented.

Donovan Dignity: A wise owl who shares correct information with the friends, usually in the form of a 1-2-3 step lesson. When he speaks, the children are about to hear better ways to cope.

Recovering Reggie: Reggie is a dog who is a recovering, cross-addicted alcoholic, and tries to erase the stigma attached to alcoholism. He shares the lesson giving role with Donovan.

Rhonda Rabbit: A rabbit who shares the experiences of living in a chemically dependent home. She represents a child who is sexually and physically abused. She is also a child of neglect, and she helps the children to understand they are not alone. Rhonda needs to reach out to someone she trusts for help.

How can I become involved?

If you would like more information about BABES or would like a speaker about the program, please contact the Coordinator at 217.428.6616 or by e-mail at  Please contact staff to arrange Volunteer Training.