Knollwood celebrates student courage with International Dot Day

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 7, 2021

SALISBURY – Knollwood Elementary had a unique look on Sept. 22: Everyone was covered in dots.

The school celebrated its first International Dot Day with a holiday of sorts based on Peter Reynold’s children’s book “The Dot.” The book tells the story of a girl named Vashti who does not believe in her artistic ability. Her art teacher tells her to make some kind of mark rather than leaving an assignment blank. Vashti makes a dot and the teacher puts it on display.

Vashti is inspired by the move and decides she can do better. The dot became the centerpiece of her work and she develops as an artist. The point of the event is to encourage students to be confident and creative. Students read the book and were given their own dots.

They wrote what future they want to create and what they dream to do, near and far. All the school’s dots were made into a mosaic on a school bulletin board that will stay as a reminder to be courageous.

Everyone was encouraged to wear dots that day, resulting a speckled affair.

Knollwood Principal Kimberly Martin said everyone gets to be themselves and appreciate the differences in others when students celebrate people for who they are. Martin said Rowan-Salisbury Schools is promoting students viewing themselves as different and able to share their unique talents.

“We are all unique and have something to bring to the table,” Martin said, adding another goal is to instill that value so students can take it to their middle and high schools.

Knollwood technology facilitator Meredith Barbour said the school celebrated the International Week of Kindness last year, but some faculty love the story and decided to celebrate Dot Day to line up with the renewal focus of getting kids focused on their passions.

Barbour said they wanted students to consider how they can inspire others, whether it is today, next week or next month.

“We saw anything from kids inspired to be doctors and teachers, all the way down to our pre-K wanting to be mermaids and big black dogs,” Barbour said. “It was really cute to kind of see where their frame of mind was, but it got them kind of thinking of where their interests were, where they lie.”

This was an opportunity for teachers to encourage them to explore their passions and direct students to where they can learn more about them. The school hopes to celebrate the day annually.

Martin is interested in students being able to express themselves. She said it shocks parents and students when they find out she speaks Spanish, and she feels overcoming a language barrier is important because that gives them another avenue to express themselves.

The school has been keeping things interesting since classes started in August. They created a video to educate parents about Title I resources and had almost 100% participation when the Salisbury Police Department brought its ice cream truck to campus.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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