by Kelly Cordero
I’m happy to introduce Kelly Cordero, the author of this week’s Impact blog entry. When I received the video below a few years ago from Kelly, it knocked my socks off! Now a few years down the road, Caleb Greenwood students are declaring and sharing their dreams more than ever–most recently in a live open mic Skype between their Kindergarteners and a hundreds of students gathered at The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia for our celebration on May 13. Here’s a window into Kelly’s world as she masterfully engages even the youngest students in learning to make aspiration and global awareness a habit of mind and heart. –Jeff
I am happy to be part of such a global sharing of spirit and humanity.
International Baccalaureate Coordinator at Caleb Greenwood in Sacramento, CA
“Is this a happy poem or sad poem?” asked the wide-eyed Kinder sitting at the edge of the checkerboard rug.
“What do you mean?” I asked, wondering how my reading of Langston Hughes’s The Dream Keeper sparked this intriguing question.
“Well, in some parts it’s scary but other parts are nice,” she explained. Other students nodded their heads in agreement as if she were speaking for the group.
“Tell me about the parts that sound scary,” I nudged.
“Well, I don’t like the ‘too-rough fingers.’”
“And the nice part?”
“Wrapping dreams in ‘the blue cloud-cloth.’ I like that part.” Again, the nodding heads.
“Ok, so now you tell me. Is this a happy poem or a sad poem?”
“I guess it’s kinda both. I don’t like that someone might take our dreams, but it’s nice that we can keep our dreams safe.”
And so began this year’s Dream Flags with our Kindergarten classes, and the marking of our fourth year of participation in the Dream Flag Project. During the last four years, our participation has ranged from a simple lunchtime open mic in our school cafeteria to 500 flags exhibiting at our State Capitol Building.
The Dream Flag Project was especially compelling this year as our Kinder students added their voices to their flags using the Dreamline app. Students were intrigued by the idea that people all over the world could see and hear their Dreams.
Hearing their words played back to them elicited gasps, smiles, and giggles. A handful of students also participated in the live feed Heartbeat Event on May 13. Some became shy with the awe of connecting with students in another part of the United States as well as another country. But the overall consensus of the experience by all was “So Fun! Let’s do it all again!”
My personal journey with the Dream Flag Project began with my work as International Baccalaureate Coordinator at Caleb Greenwood in Sacramento, CA. I was looking for a creative way to connect with other students globally and stumbled upon the Dream Flag website.
The Project has now become a school tradition and my involvement has grown to helping organize the Dream Line App Kickstarter video, being a member of the app Design Review Team, live video participation at the Heartbeat event, and to recently beta-testing the new Dreamline app with Kindergartners at our school.
I have also recently learned that I am recipient of this year’s Dream Angel Award. Thank you, Dream Flag Project, for the recognition. I truly believe The Dream Flag Project is a wonderful way for students to connect to other students, their dreams, and to the words of Langston Hughes. I am happy to be part of such a global sharing of spirit and humanity.
And here’s me reading the Dream Angel Award citation from Angel Padulo for Kelly at the National Constitution Center on May 13, 2017. Thank you, Kelly! -Jeff