Friday, September 18, 2020

AEC celebrates International Dot Day

Students at Alternative Education Center in Odessa, TX, celebrated International Dot Day on September 15, 2020, through the leadership of Ms. Whitney Carter, Art teacher at the Alternative Education Center and Ector County Youth Center. Using dots, students created their artwork to express their creativity and the message they wanted to share with the class. Students used pens and markers to complete the project.

Ms. Carter explained that International Dot Day is a worldwide celebration of creativity, courage, and collaboration. It started when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009. The book is the story of a thoughtful teacher who challenges a skeptical student to trust in her ability to make her mark. What has begun with a small dot on a piece of paper now becomes a breakthrough of inspiration for self-expression to myriad children and adults worldwide.

An avenue for self-expression is vital amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It encompasses expressions of how people feel right now and the need for them to be heard, helping improve their mental health despite this stressful situation. Dot is the most basic utility for illustrations that is prejudice-free and culture-inclusive. When used to illustrate and express our feelings, struggles, efforts, aspirations, and hopes, dots just become as powerful as words to give us emotional and mental relief. This dot project initiated by Ms. Carter at AEC/ECYC did not only allow students to understand the purpose of International Dot Day but also to contribute to attaining the global sustainable development goal of good health and well-being.