I hope your ears are burning Erik Wahl, some of our Kindergarten students were channeling your message this morning! Let me explain.......
Last week was International Dot Day which is organized by Peter H. Reynolds. I've read The Dot to my entire school for the past five years on Dot Day and it's such a fun experience. I missed one of our Kindergarten classes last week in my reading marathon and read to them this morning first thing.
The Dot is so rich with creativity, moments for whole group discussion, opportunities for partner turn-n-talks and most importantly about being an artist. After I read this book to a class we always chat about Vashti and the impact her teacher had on her. Also what potential impact she had on the little boy who drew the squiggly line and so many students want to know what happens next. (Hopefully Peter will write The Line as a follow-up to the Dot)
Today I asked the Kindergarten class before I left -
"Raise your hand if you're an artist?"
All twenty-four children raised their hands! I've asked that question to every class on campus after reading The Dot.
It hit me.
The older the grade level, the fewer hands go up.
I wish you were there Erik. Why are our students losing their artistic energy as they get older? Why do they feel they're not artists? This is a bigger problem than simply drawing.
If a child thinks they can't draw, they may also doubt if they can create. If they can take risks. If they can think differently when approaching a problem and looking for a solution. If they have the freedom to step out on their own and be independent.
We must promote creativity, innovation and art in our schools. It's the foundation for everything that we do. Our kids deserve it. Our kids need it. Our kids will grow and flourish because of it!
Principals and School Leaders - We must be the catalyst to make this happen. Give permission. Set the tone. Be the example. Have fun. Go create. Get dirty. Break the rules. Live your life. Be an artist. Watch your students thrive and see where it takes them.
Grab some paint, make a design, have fun, let loose, live your life and be an artist!
Paint, color, draw - then have an art show at your school like Vashti!