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Connecting the Dots, from Creativity to Confidence

By Jeremy Willette
Connecting the Dots, from Creativity to Confidence

A student at the American International School of Chennai cuts to the chase on Dot Day (photo: AISC).
Last September, with over 1,300,000 participants in 84 countries, the American International School of Chennai (AISC), India actively took part in International Dot Day, one of the world’s largest celebrations of creativity and confidence.
Inspiration for Dot Day stems from Peter H. Reynold’s best-seller, The Dot. Young Vashti stares at her blank paper in art class, unable to create anything due to self-doubt. A caring teacher encourages her to “make a mark” and see where it leads. Reluctantly, Vashti draws a single dot, only to find it framed in gold the next day.
Determined to create a better masterpiece, Vashti challenges herself to make many other types of dots. What begins as a dot transforms into a magnificent art show. Vashti’s powerful journey of self-discovery even inspires another child in the book to be creative and take risks. He is not alone; millions of inspired readers have been celebrating Dot Day ever since.
AISC’s mission to “empower all students with the courage, confidence, creativity, and compassion to make their unique contribution in a diverse and dynamic world” is why we embrace Dot Day. Typically, just like at AISC, children and adults worldwide read the book, and do fantastical dot-related activities.
Here, decorative dot smiley faces vied to outshine the faces of the excited children who drew them. Dot flowers bloomed in an imaginative garden, tilled to the sounds of merrymaking. Ordinary dots became undiscovered planets, new animal species, magical inventions with infinite possibilities, and dream-inspired self-portraits of people our students will one day become.
There were dots everywhere. In fact, if you could have observed activities at school that day as a fly on the wall, you would have had difficulty finding a place to land that was not a dot.
Some dots carried commitments, affirmations, and mantras to do our best every day. “I show compassion by seeing with my heart.” “Good things can happen if you try.” “I have confidence in my students and give them my best.”
Others wore dots as proud badges and reminders to take risks, try something new, and give back to others: “Got the courage to join swimming classes!” “I learned how to make a video for my dad’s birthday!” “I help the environment.”
While dots were Vashti’s muse, they are really just a starting point for expressing creativity and confidence, because our passions can take on any form. Like her teacher, we can inspire our students to look inside themselves, trust in their abilities, discover hidden talents, and find new, interesting paths to follow. What matters is how we positively make our mark. This is why our school community members also carpunt diem through music, games, fashion, discussion, presentations, and poetry.
For more information on celebrating Dot Day, please contact us at AISC. We would love to share our experiences with you in more detail. When we find and explore our passions, International Dot Day shows us that possibilities are endless. And, when it comes to writing the book on our own creativity and confidence, there is no need for a period, full stop… or dot… at the end of any sentence. l
Mr. Willette is Head of Library Services at AISC.

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11/19/2014 - Eduall
Thanks for the valuable guild lines shared by you. . .
01/22/2014 - Jean
Nice work Jeremy! It appears that you made a great Dot Day...I am sure it will become an annual.