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Lower School Art teacher, Mariah King, begins the school year by reading her favorite picture book aloud to each class of students.  The name of the book is The Dot, by author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds, and it explores, in its gentle way, the powerful themes of bravery, creativity, and self-expression.

The Dot tells the story of a caring teacher who reaches a reluctant student in a remarkably creative way. The teacher dares a very resistant Vashti to “make her mark.”  Vashti’s breakthrough begins with a simple dot on a piece of paper.  Encouraged by her teacher, she sets off on a journey of self-discovery, allowing her creativity to bloom and, ultimately, to inspire others.

“We discuss the themes in The Dot and continue to revisit them throughout the year,” explains Mariah. “And we make sure to celebrate ‘International Dot Day’ on September 15.”  Starting in 2009, a group of educators began celebrating this date — the publication date of the book —  by encouraging others to read the book and then create their own dots. Dot Day caught on quickly and since then, the numbers of participating teachers and students around the globe have skyrocketed.

This year, WSD Kindergarten students celebrated Dot Day by creating mixed media artwork for display in the main hall.  The results are an explosion of dots, color, and creativity, accompanied by the question, “Where will your mark take you?”  That is the question Mariah loves to ask her students, as she challenges them to make their mark, and to share their creativity with the world.

For more information about International Dot Day