International Dot Day

International Dot Day - Sunday, September 15, 2024

Relationship Family

Every September 15 is International Dot Day and today we start with a story about a little girl named Vashti, the protagonist of Peter H. Reynolds’ tale, “The Dot.”

Vashti felt like she couldn’t draw — but her art teacher wouldn’t accept that. “Just make a mark, and see where it takes you,” the teacher said to Vashti. So, she marked her parchment paper with a small dot.  The next day, Vashti was surprised to find her paper with the dot on the classroom wall. Vashti was so proud of her work that she started creating drawings with different kinds of dots.

Eventually, Vashti was able to pass onto someone else the lesson about confidence that she had learned from her teacher.  A dot might be small, but it’s a powerful way to show your unique individuality and creativity. And that’s the story that started International Dot Day. The end. 

International Dot Day is staged to encourage people of all ages to harness their creativity. The inspiration behind the event is the children’s book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. It relates the tale of a teacher who challenges one of his female pupils to take courage in her abilities and from a dot on a page the youngster goes on to make her mark.

Real-life teacher Terry Shay brought this book to his class in the late 2000s and it was this that sparked Dot Day to life. It has grown from this one classroom to now be a worldwide celebration each year. Teachers can encourage students to get busy on the day with writing, drawing, painting, or other creative outlets and share this with the Dot Day website to inspire others. It’s not just for students though and anyone can get involved to show their talents.

International Dot Day Activities

  1. Read "The Dot"

    Peter H. Reynolds' storybook, "The Dot," is the book that started it all. Check it out for "the story of a girl who begins a journey of self-discovery after a caring teacher challenges her to 'make her mark.'"

  2. Donate art supplies to a school

    If it's within your means, your local school system may have an art program that could use your help. Consider donating unused office supplies or other things around your home as "found art" that students might want to explore for projects.

  3. Paint a picture or write a poem

    Get creative and make your own mark! There's no better way to celebrate International Dot Day than by reaching down into your own well of imagination and doing something artistic that reflects who you are. Even if you can't afford art supplies, you may have a program on your computer that lets you create digital art. Give it a try!

Why We Love International Dot Day

  1. Dots are symbolic

    Depending on how philosophical you'd like to get, a dot can represent nearly anything. We use them for punctuation, to convey when one thought ends and another begins.

  2. Dots are building blocks

    When you go down deep enough, every piece of art is just a different arrangement of dots as in the artistic technique, pointillism. But in our digital world, it's easy to see that every image is a collection of pixels, which when isolated, are merely a collection of individual, digital dots. Let's think of them as the "atoms" of the art world!

  3. Dots are easy to draw

    Anybody on the planet can celebrate International Dot Day. This is because everybody can draw a dot and make their mark. Period.

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