If you’ve been reading my blog for at least a year, you’ll know that I am a strong proponent of International Dot Day, the day when children and grown-ups around the world celebrate creativity in the spirit of Peter H. Reynolds’ wonderful picture book, The Dot.
In The Dot, the main character, Vashti, is sure she can’t participate when the other kids in her class are creating “art.” Her teacher urges her to “make a mark and see where it takes you.” Vashti quickly makes a single dot on the page. Her teacher scrutinizes it carefully, then says, “Now sign it.”
What an amazingly simple, but empowering message. Even a small dot on a page can be viewed as art, and can be used as a way to build self-esteem.
Teacher Terry Shay was inspired by Peter’s book, and introduced it to his students in the first Dot Day, in 2009. Since then, Dot Day has become an international phenomenon. This year, there are more than 1.5 million (yes, that says MILLION) participants in 75 countries, who will all be making their mark in some creative way, on or around September 15th.
I’d like to encourage you to become involved, as well. Start by reading (or re-reading) The Dot. If you have connections to a school, see if they’re doing anything for Dot Day — and if they aren’t, let them know how they can become involved. (The celebration isn’t restricted to September 15th — that’s why the date is “ish”.) Blog about it, as I’m doing, and as my friend and writing colleague Pat Tilton has done. Learn the new Dot Song, and sing it with your kids!
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