By Judith Roberts
Lincoln Parish schools and college campuses joined nearly 27 million children and adults around the globe in over 190 countries to celebrate International Dot Day – a grassroots “creativity and courage” movement, started in 2009 by a teacher in Iowa.
Inspired by New York Times best-selling author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds’ classic storybook for all ages The Dot, International Dot Day inspires young and old to embrace the power of personal creativity to help make their mark on the world and move it to a better place.
Hillcrest Elementary teacher Candace Gilmore said Reynolds’ book focuses around a character named Vashti .
“The dot is basically about how he feels defeated, like he can’t create or do anything, so his teacher encourages him to at least try, and he puts just a dot on his page,” Gilmore said. “She takes it and celebrates his attempt. This encourages him to try a little more and a little more, day by day, and in the end creates something magnificent – and it all started with just a dot.
“We want the students to see that they can make a mark on this world, in their class, and simply in their life if they would just try.”
Hillcrest Elementary combined Dot Day with Grandparents Day, inviting students’ grandparents to celebrate with them.
“We felt who better to ask about making your mark in life than someone who has lived a full life,” Gilmore said. “Grandparents are so important in imparting wisdom on our next generations, and so we felt this would be a grand collaboration on Dot Day to allow them to participate and share with their grandchild how they made their mark and encourage them to make their own mark.”
Secondary students weren’t the only ones who celebrated Dot Day, either – college campuses also joined in on the fun. Louisiana Tech’s Clinical Residency and Recruitment Center used Dot Day as a way to excite students for the beginning of the fall quarter, said CRRC director Dr. Amy Vessel.
“Since the center opened in 2015, we have celebrated the education profession each year during the first full week of fall quarter,” Vessel said. “It has been a great time to welcome our freshman education majors, provide resources for our teaching program candidates, and celebrate our TEAM Model clinical residents, their mentors and school leaders, our alumni, and friends who support our passion for making a difference in the lives of children across our state.”