Day 1 - Jens Bergensten: Jens Peder Bergensten, also known as Jeb, his in-game nickname, is a Swedish video game designer. Since December 2010, he has worked for the game developer Mojang as a programmer and game designer. He is the principal designer of Minecraft. Lego, another creative company, combined their product with Minecraft to create something new that people want.
Day 2 - Courtney Westlake: Courtney Westlake is a writer, mother to two beautiful children–Connor and Brenna–and wife to Evan. Her daughter Brenna was born with a severe skin disorder. Brenna and Courtney use their creativity to help us be more compassionate, reminding us that creative people care.
(adapted by Ms. Hesse from Courtney's post) As you enter the playground area, you see a young child immediately point at my child, calling loudly “Mom, look at HER!” The mother quickly hushes him, calling him to her to quietly get on to him for what he said.
or...You’re at the end of a grocery store aisle when you see and hear a young child catch a glimpse of my daughter and asks, “Why is that baby so red?”
The mother puts her hand over the child's mouth to stop as much of the question as she can, while hurrying around the corner without looking back.
Often children freeze, staring open-mouthed at my daughter at the library. If the child is older, like you, he/she quickly looks away, but then try to catch another look.
I see this nearly every day. I hear all of the questions, I glimpse all of the pointing out of the corner of my eye, I notice all of the whispered comments.
I hear you, and I see you, and I feel it all, deep within my heart.
The mother of mother of a child who pointed and said, "Why is that baby so red?" is embarrassed, and I understand that. If you are an older child staring and looking away, then looking back, I want you to know this. Just like your parents love you, I love my daughter fiercely. And when you try to look and then look away and back again...remember you are looking and turning right in front of us -- it feels like you’re hiding from our family. It feels like the small gap between us has now grown into a wide-spanning canyon that no one wants to cross.
WHAT DO I WISH YOU WOULD DO?
I wish you would say "hi" and ask my kids’ names.
I wish you would remember that the way someone looks isn’t important. We all look different from each other, don’t we?
I wish you would learn about all kinds of differences, from wheelchairs to birthmarks, from Down syndrome to ichthyosis, from racial differences to wearing glasses. Ultimately, I hope that if you have questions about someone’s appearance, you will wait until later to ask questions, so you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings – because, after all, how we treat each other is much more important than how someone looks.
So next time, I hope you don’t hide. I hope you come talk to us and smile. Instead of a steep divide that places our family on the other side with a “do not look at and do not talk to” sign, I hope you smile at my daughter and see a little girl who is just like you. I hope you care.
adapted from --Daughter, This. 'This Is What I Wish You Would Say When Your Child Points At My Daughter'. Faithit.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 July 2015.
Creative Thinking Skill:
Creative people find ways to turn things around.
Day 3 - Sree Sreenivasin: Sreenath "Sree" Sreenivasan is the chief digital officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and a technology journalist. Under his leadership he has used digital technology to take us inside the museum and from homes and even made it possible to go back in time and walk through historical buildings that have been gone for centuries. There are countless interactive games and booklets for kids! In fact, the museum's digital offerings are found both on the web and in the museum.
CHECK IT OUT HERE!
Creative Thinking Skill: Creative people try to think outside their own heads --to imagine what others would like.
Day 4 - JOCELYN LEAVITT: Tired of watching children "mindlessly consuming" games, former teacher Jocelyn Leavitt teamed up in 2011 with software engineer Samantha John to launch Hopscotch, a build-your-own-games app featuring a first-of-its-kind mobile programming language that empowers anyone—kid or adult—to produce an original game, solo. The key to the iPad-compatible Hopscotch is its drag-and-drop interface, which allows users to grab blocks of code from presorted categories (movement, appearance, etc.) and assemble them to determine how gameplay should go (e.g., "When robot is tapped, rotate 180 degrees"), all while learning basic programming concepts and creating a project they can share with friends. In Hopscotch’s first year, users published more than a million of their self-created games, and more than 50,000 new games are now published each week. When asked about her app’s popularity, Leavitt demurs. "There’s a strong desire on kids’—and adults’—part to create," she says. "People have ideas all the time.
Watch Jocelyn explain how HOPSCOTCH works! You iPad and MAC people might want to download it (ask first...)
Creative Thinking Skill: Shake things up! Most people would never imagine kids designing games --she did.
Day 5 - Tara Harrelson: Miss Harrelson grew up in Jonesboro and lived there all of her life except for the times she lived here in Weiner. She went to Valley View School and graduated in the top ten percent of her class. Miss Harrelson received a full tuition scholarship and attended Arkansas State University.
From a very young age, Miss Harrelson realized the key to getting the things you want out of life is education. She also realized she was not going to be able to do that without hard work because her family was much too poor to send her to college. She worked hard and earned good grades all through her school years. Because her family was very poor, her clothes were always hand-me-downs and did not always fit right. Several of her teachers bought her clothes and shoes and paid her way on many field trips. Other students made fun of her. She dealt with a lot of teasing and did not have many close friends growing up. As a child, Miss Harrelson learned to love reading. She said she discovered that when you read, you can go anywhere and be anyone you want to be. She also used poetry to escape when things got really tough. Miss Harrelson still has a little fabric covered journal that she use to write poetry in when she was a child. Today she still opens it and reads the words from time to time. She believes poetry was a creative outlet for her.
Sometimes it is hard for kids to think of their teachers as ever being children. Sometimes it is hard for kids to think of their teachers as ever being poor. Miss Harrelson shows us every single day of her life that everyone matters, and everyone is meant to do wonderful things. Being poor didn't stop her. Look at the photo of this little girl... it's Miss Harrelson! Why would anyone ever bully another child? How would you feel if you had been there and seen someone say mean things to her? Always remember... every single person in this school is important.
Miss Harrelson says: "I still use creative outlets in my life today. Activities that some view as hobbies, such as poetry, painting, and crafting, I view as creative ways to express and heal myself. They are also ways to share a little piece of yourself with the world.