Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ten Thousand Thanks!

Now that the dots have settled on another wildly successful Dot Day, I want to extend some thanks to some very important people. Be sure to read to the end. I'm a little nervous that I've missed people in this list, so I may go back and add some.

Peter H. Reynolds - There would be no day without the perfect book. Your words and your art have captivated the world. When I suggested we "have a day to let kids make dots and be creative," you had the brilliance to call it "International" and made a logo. Your belief in my dream made all the difference. Thank you.

Paul A Reynolds - Every year, you are there behind the scenes, connecting people, making things happen, watching the totals, and dreaming of a more creative future. Thank you.

Bill Norris - In 2011 you had the idea to keep track of who was celebrating. It was truly a brilliant suggestion because the power of numbers both helps people feel connected and also to keep all of us reaching to inspire more and more kids. You are also behind the scenes working and making things happen. Thank you

Julie Gribble and KidLitTV team- When you jumped on board, you rocked the ship!! You have made such an amazing groundswell of love and support happen. Last year with the Ready, Set, Draw, and the Storymakers and this year with an amazing Livestream. You constantly support this amazing mission. Thank you for allowing me to write a monthly-ish column where I can share ways to keep being creative. Apple autocorrect keeps changing Livestream to LIFEstream and, this year it's not wrong. You brought new life. Thank you to the entire team.

Shannon M. Miller,  Andy Plemmons, and Matthew Winner Before I even dreamed of how making connections would inspire classrooms to participate, you were at work making it all happen. I never have to wonder if you will create a new doc to share, it happens before I can even think of it. I will be forever grateful to all of you for your work. Thank you.

Quivervision - One of our Ambassadors contacted QuiverVision (then ColAr) and asked if they'd participate in Dot Day and before we knew it, there was a template and dozens of schools jumping on board. Having a new way to look at dots has been wonderful. Thank you! Thank you also for this amazing dot that you made out of submissions to Quivervision! WOW, I am blown away.

FableVision Learning - Andrea, Patrick, Patrick M, and Adrienne and all those that went before you have been instrumental in making Dot Day grow. From creating awesome blog posts and Maker Studio dots, to making sure that people are able to go to the website and find what they need, you all rock. Thank you!

Blue Bunny Books - Margie-the-Great, Melissa, and Diana worked wonders this year to get t-shirts, stickers, and books out to people celebrating. You will forever be my favorite bookstore. Thank you!

Candlewick Press - Thank you for supporting Dot Day by providing materials for celebrations and awesome book guides and ideas. Anne and company, you rock! Thank you!

DoInk - New this year! There were some really ingenious ways for teachers and kids to GreenScreen with their dots. Thank you for tweeting, sharing, and making a product that helps kids be creative.

Buncee encouraged many people to celebrate this year and for many years. This was, I think, the first year I've seen FlipGrid celebrations and they have been amazing and heartwarming. Thank you.

Faber-Castell - Thank you for being the sponsor of this year's KidLitTV Lifestream! That LiveStream was amazing and it happened through your generosity. Thank you also for creating stellar art supplies that help everyone be more creative.

Holly McGhee and Pippin Properties- To the super agent who first helped bring "The Dot" to the world, and a constant supporter of creativity, Peter, and me. Your love and kindness is truly appreciated.

The Celebridots - For those who don't know the story, in 2011 on Dot Day, I received an email from one of my favorite authors, Sharon Creech, and it inspired me to seek dots from other famous people to inspire kids to be creative. There are currently 260 dots from a huge variety of authors/illustrators/TV personalities which annually inspire kids. I never dreamed when we started the collection that people would use so many different mediums to create, and that has made the gallery an incredible source of inspiration. Thank you for taking time away from your own work to make your mark on kids.

North Tama School and Teachers - After celebrating for a few years in three of my classrooms, I asked if we could involve the entire elementary and the answer was yes. The teachers went so far above and beyond to dot the school, it was amazing. The next year, the entire secondary joined. What a testament to creativity and positivity. Many teachers have celebrated every year and I am always amazed by their creativity. Thank you.

My students former and present - In the past, people have asked me how I get older kids to participate and my answer is always, "put out art supplies." There is no trick. I think I've been blessed with amazing students who appreciate the time to be creative. In addition, many have gone on to celebrate in their own classrooms or, in the case of Stefanie Kline, in a daycare. I love my students and former students, they keep me going. Thank you for believing in this dream.

Every administrator who saw the importance of celebrating creativity and allowed or advocated for teachers and kids. I met a principal once who scowled at me when asked if her school participated. She said "if I take any more instructional time away from teachers, they will be very mad." This made me appreciate the ones who see practice creativity AS instructional time. Thank you, administrators.

Every teacher, counselor, care-giver, librarian, or person who celebrated and/or shared this day, I thank you. Much praise has been heaped on the founder, but it all belongs to YOU. YOU made this day what it is and even if I thanked you 10 million times, it wouldn't be enough. YOU are heroes.

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