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Beecher Starts School Year with a Dot on the Page

Beecher Starts School Year with a Dot on the Page

Art teachers Linda Acheson, left, and Ashley Wagner are decked out in polka dots for International Dot Day [Photo courtesy of Dr. Guy Stella]
Art teachers Linda Acheson, left, and Ashley Wagner are decked out in polka
dots for International Dot Day [Photo courtesy of Dr. Guy Stella]
Every painting starts with a dot, so make your mark and who knows where it may take you; that is the message of Peter H. Reynold’s book “The Dot,” which inspired students and teachers at Beecher Road School this fall. Hallways are lined with posters of dots of all kinds – some large and colorful, others hiding on the page. Whether it was the can-do message or the simplicity of its execution, the message caught on. It culminated in Dot Day, — International Dot Day no less — on September 15, when everyone was encouraged to wear dots to school.

“The children just did it,” said art teachers Ashley Wagner and Linda Acheson, who initiated the school-wide activity. “Just about everybody was part of it.”

Reynold’s story is that of a student who thinks she cannot draw and refuses to do so in art class. Finally she just jots a dot onto the page. The teacher tells her, “Sign it,” and that is the beginning of a new chapter in her student’s life.

“All you have to do is make your mark,” said art teacher Linda Acheson. “See where it leads you.” Acheson took this reporter on a ‘dot safari,’ pointing out the different approaches that children took in creating their dot. “Although all the art was based on the same theme, no two are alike,” she noted.

Acheson said the book has had a phenomenal impact in the five years of its publication. Teachers all over the globe have participated in Dot Day and a website is dedicated to the burgeoning Dot fan club. She said although September 15 is early in the school year, which makes school-wide coordination challenging, they are hoping to make this an annual event. One idea for future Dot Days is to be skyping with schools in other countries to talk about their Dot experiences.

By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent

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