Creekside Elementary School Social Worker Anya Herlien always looks for ways to promote a positive school climate and to connect with her students, especially during remote learning.
“I feel like during remote learning it is even more important for us to build that sense of school community and continue supporting our students even though we are not physically together,” Herlien said.
The Creekside Elementary School social work team discovered International Dot Day when they brainstormed activities the whole school could do virtually.
International Dot Day is inspired by the book “The Dot” written by Peter H. Reynolds, Herlien said. The book tells the story of a character named Vashti who believes she does not have any artistic talent. After refusing to participate in a drawing activity, Vashti’s teacher encourages her to “just make a mark and see where it takes you.”
Vashti draws a dot and then realizes her potential and paints a series of dot paintings. Eventually all her dot paintings are displayed in the school’s art show where Vashti inspires another student to start drawing.
“ ‘The Dot’ inspires kiddos to embrace their creativity and use it to make their mark on the world and inspire others,” Herlien said.
After learning about the book, the social work team challenged all students and staff at Creekside to celebrate International Dot Day on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. Students and staff listened to a read-aloud of the book, discussed the message of the book, and then used their creativity to decorate a “dot.”
“We felt like this was a great opportunity for us to inspire creativity in our students and also encourage them during this unprecedented time in our world right now.” Herlien said. “We want students to go and find a way to make a positive mark on their world.”
The book also highlights the relationship between the teacher and the student, Herlien added.
“Teachers are always helping to inspire children, encourage children and work together to help students achieve their goals and find the strengths that are within them,” Herlien said.
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