Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

Thank you so much to everyone who has visited my blog this week!  I never imagined that I would have so many page views and I am so excited that people in other countries are interested in creating projects.  Although the original idea was inspired by a combination of tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary and of triumph during Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, the overall goals of hope and love are universal and timeless.

The most exciting part of this project so far has definitely been the enthusiasm and excitement from the kids.  I didn't realize how deeply they feel the negativity that surrounds them until I saw how quickly they got involved with spreading the message and furthering my vision.  Original artwork and writing was created almost immediately, other social networking sites are being leveraged, and bigger plans are in the works for collaboration between clubs, classes, grade levels, and schools - all before many teachers and administrators even had a chance to organize something similar!  At the very least, this project will showcase the benefits of a student-centered approach and encourage more people to focus on their strengths and interests instead of their weaknesses and problems.

Please post any more great ideas as a comment on this page or email me at, keep sharing the link and the love, and don't forget to showcase your own talents - we ALL need to work on this together so that our children can live in the world that Dr. King envisioned all those years ago.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Be the change you want to see in the world!

I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the the way things are going lately from negative attitudes at work to the negativity that is surrounding Sandy Hook Elementary.  I can't help but think of all of the amazing people with their unique talent and ideas who feel hopeless and sad, especially all of the victims' families as well as the brave students and teachers who are still in that little town in Connecticut who want to move forward. 

I have heard so many people and seen so many videos talking about how difficult things are going to be for them and how much they are going to have to struggle, but I know from experience that feelings of pity and sadness aren't very helpful in tragic situations. That was when I realized (with a lot of help from my friends and family) that the families, teachers, and students need to feel HOPE and LOVE - we ALL need to feel that! 

So, I thought a little project might be the best way to get collective happy thoughts and positive prayers into that community and into the rest of the world since it seems that every one of us needs to start looking at things a little differently. We all have special strengths and abilities and we are all capable of love.  Unfortunately, it seems that the focus is always on weaknesses and disabilities and everyone knows that negativity can only lead to more negativity.  

Since I have always encouraged my students to realize that they can make a difference because they have gifts, talents, and a voice of their own, I would like everyone to help me share one of my students' favorite assignments with as many people as possible because I know it is one small, but perfect way for every individual to shine in their own special way regardless of their age, race, religion, ethnic heritage, intelligence style, or physical characteristics. 

Dr. Martin Luther King once said, "I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

The world needs a few more dreamers, so I want everyone to create something to illustrate a positive aspect of their own dream.  This project has no parameters and no rubric - the sky is the limit!  Show the rest of the world what hope and love look like to you.

Step 1: In honor of Martin Luther King Day, the people who need to flourish at Sandy Hook Elementary, and any special people in your life who inspire you to celebrate life and unique abilities, 
I would like ALL of you to work on this project.  Create something any way that makes you happy - pictures, videos, music, poetry, dance, art, research, baked goods, clothes, technology, etc. etc. etc. - the possibilities are literally endless!!

Step 2: Spread the assignment to any teachers, students, professors, artists, musicians, churches, equality organizations, civil rights activists or just fun people that you know!

Step 3: Have FUN with this and feel the HOPE and LOVE <3

Step 4: Once you are finished playing, if you feel like sharing your magic and insight, post it as a reply to this blog, post it to your Facebook/Tumblr/Instagram page, tweet about it, email it to the people in charge, and/or just hang it on your fridge. 

#postiveispowerful #sandyhookhope