Saturday, January 29, 2022

This past Sunday, September 15, Academies @ GBDS, became the first Jewish day school in the area to have joined over a million children and adults around the globe to celebrate International Dot Day—a grassroots “creativity and courage” movement, started in 2009 by a teacher in Iowa, and inspired by The New York Times best-selling author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds’ “The Dot.” International Dot Day inspires young and old to embrace the power of personal creativity to change the world. Dot Day has generated support around the globe, including all 50 U.S. states, all seven continents and even on the International Space Station!

Exploring the themes of creativity, bravery and self-expression, “The Dot” is a story of a perceptive and caring teacher who reaches a reluctant student who thinks she can’t draw by encouraging her to be brave enough to “just make a mark and see where it takes you.” “The Dot” has been translated into many languages including Hebrew, Spanish and even Braille. The animated film of “The Dot” earned the Carnegie Medal of Excellence.

“We are ecstatic to be able to bring this worldwide event to the Bergen County/Oakland community,” said Susan Scher, early childhood director of Academies @ GBDS. “Dot Day allows children and adults alike to express their creativity, collaborate and celebrate all that creativity inspires. Multiple stations allowed for artistic expression, movement and literacy.” One parent who attended summed up the morning: “A totally awesome art and literature event! What lovely morot and volunteers!”

Performing and visual arts, STEM and leadership are central to the education at Academies @ GBDS. Students are exposed to a variety of artistic endeavors and challenged to develop and hone their unique talents. In addition, the study of the arts prepares students to be successful in a 21st century world that demands innovative thinking and creativity in an increasingly competitive global society. This event started off the year on a creative and inspiring note and plans for Dot Day 2020 are already in the works!

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