According to “The Dot Club,” International Dot Day, is a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration, which began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.  Each year on International Dot Day, the inspiration continues. What started as a story in the pages of a book is transforming teaching and learning around the world. 

At Unity Charter School, following International Dot Day, students read Peter Reynolds’ The Dot in which Vashti harnesses the power of her creativity by making dots in as many ways as she can conjure.  Unity’s artist in residence then introduced students to, “The Art Challenge”.  Students were able to work either individually or collaboratively.  They were asked to fill a sheet of paper with circles in all of the ways they could imagine, continuing to experiment with ways to combine oil pastels, black permanent marker, tempera paint and now colored pencils.  This experience allowed them to experiment with materials that demonstrate layering and some color mixing in new ways!  They were able to find imaginative ways to “make their mark,” while connecting their creativity to a wonderful piece of literacy and an international movement that began with a dot. 

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Unity Charter School is a tuition-free, public school in Morris Township that offers a unique approach to education for students from Kindergarten to 8th Grade throughout New Jersey. Enrollment is open to all New Jersey residents.


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