Cloud Cloth Annual Campaign

20180131_20344277830300.jpgWhen our son Nathaniel was two years old, he would come into the living room shouting, “Mommy, Daddy, come see! It’s fun raising on TV!” And he was hard to resist.

Walking into our bedroom with the TV on, we’d see the announcer who had just told kids, at a break in the programming,  to go get their parents–for the fundraising.

I wish I could come to you with the glee of a two-year-old about Fun Raising! But what I can offer is something perhaps as persuasive– though that may be hard to imagine:

Connecting the world through shared dreams.

We’re not “interrupting our programming” to do this, but I want to tell you what Cloud Cloth Programming included this past year.

In 2017:

  • We supported and connected more than 80 teachers from 69 different sites who did something that otherwise wouldn’t happen in schools: declaring and sharing dreams to facilitate trust and community.
  • We gave every one of our 10,046 students from age 3-18 an audience for their flags, and a metaphor to remember that we’re all connected– the line of  flags in their hallway and the other lines around the world.
  • We created a global celebration of dreams, centered at The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, but reaching as far as a remote mountaintop orphanage in Tanzania.
  • We released the beta Dreamline mobile app  and made a space for each student’s voice–literally–in the crowded world of online information.
  • We wrote new lesson plans, answered calls and questions, gave instructional workshops, did Skype inservice programs, and whatever it took to bring a common experience to 10,046 students from the USA, China, Belize, France, Macedonia, Morocco, Romania, and Tanzania.

Of course we’re not stopping all that while we ask you for the money to keep it going.  One look at headlines and you’ll know why.

In the coming year the programming of Cloud Cloth Education AND the responsibilities of Cloud Cloth Education will expand rapidly with your help, providing:

  • Dream Path: A pilot program to explore the analysis of Dream Flags in a school community, determine common dreams, and work with area resources to provide educational programming directed at students’ dreams.
  • Dreamline App: Full inclusion of social media friendly and searchable Dream Flags through Dreamline, reaching participants and supporters around the world.
  • The Dreamline Program: Continued support of  Dreamline programming and operation.
  • Material & Markers: Sending cloth and other flag supplies to schools who lack them.
  • What it Takes: Workshops, inservice programs, and full-on support for the teachers who bring dream sharing into their classrooms.
  • A Free Program: Lesson plans and online platforms to connect students to their dreams and each other.
  • Inclusive Community: Programs such as the annual National Constitution Center celebration, the Martin Luther King Day Festival, and the Dreams In Transit exhibition. Also one to one school connection programs, such as the Dreams and Friendship Exchange and the iEarn Youth Forum.

To reach these goals, we need to raise $25,000 through our Annual Campaign.

And if we can exceed that amount? That means more reach, more community, more resources delivered to those communities to support students becoming true to their dreams and the world.

So pick a cloud and join us. 

Make Your Own Cloud
provides what you wish

$20 Cumulous
provides materials and program for one classroom

$200 Stratus
provides materials and program for a grade level

$2,000 Altocumulus
provides materials and program for an average school

$20,000 Altostratus 
provides materials and program for a district
Contact jharlan@CloudClothEducation for donation details.

$200,000 Cirrocumulus
provides materials and program for a state-wide program
Contact jharlan@CloudClothEducation for donation details.

$2,000,000 Cumulonimbus
provides materials and programs for the USA or equivalent
Contact jharlan@CloudClothEducation for donation details.

$20,000,000 Atmosphere
provides materials and programs for the world.
Contact jharlan@CloudClothEducation for donation details.


Why Now?

We can not deny the potential to create empowered and aligned dreams that is unique to our time and exceptional for humanity.

In an email I’m about to write to the Dreamline teachers around the world, I’m going to ask them to SIGN UP NOW for joining our program with their students this year.

So why now?

This year, as in most years, I feel that helping our students focus on their dreams, on helping them see the power in aligning them to each other, teaching them this habit of heart and mind, is more important than ever. But especially now. This now.

When I opened my phone this morning, the first story from Google was that the Secretary General of the UN was issuing a “red alert” to world leaders, urging them to resolve to “Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals.”

And who are those “world leaders?”

I believe they are us, teachers, educators. For who else is more concretely standing in front of or next to, leading and coaching, children in schools around the globe today? Who else is more directly leading the world that will become? Who?

There are about 50 million teachers around the world. And I believe that we are the ones with the power and the responsibility to do this.

But how?


Continue reading “Why Now?”

Footprints Around the World

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 1.41.59 PM

What do the following schools have in common?

  • Kongresi I Manastirit School in Tirana, ALBANIA
  • Peel District School Board in Missisauga, Ontario, CANADA,
  • Farzanegan High School in Tehran, IRAN,
  • School-Kindergarten 90 in Chisinau, MOLDOVA,
  • Elworod High School in Tinghir, MOROCCO,
  • Hassan Iben Thabet School and Qurtoba Basic School in Hebron, PALESTINE,
  • Liceui Teoretic Emil Racovita in Techirghiol, ROMANIA,
  • Gymnasia 15 in Nikopol, UKRAINE,
  • Al Ameen Private School in Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES,
  • Sunburst Youth Academy in Los Alamitos, California, USA,
  • Lincolnton High School in Lincolnton, North Carolina, USA,
  • Governor Mifflin Intermediate School in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA, and
  • Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, USA!

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 9.41.38 PM

They are all schools who have signed up to participate in the 2017-18 Dreamline Program in collaboration with the International Education and Resource Network, now in its 29th year of serving students and teachers around the world by “helping students learn with the world, not just about it!”


That means the students in these schools will make flags, some as a second language activity, others in their primary language and share them on Dreamline.

So how’s that different than just signing up on Dreamline?

I think it’s most different in that what iEARN has done over the years is to figure out the best sort of “open source” platform for teachers and students to collaborate. And those who participate in Dreamline through iEARN get to experience that. By “open source” I don’t mean the usual technical meaning, but more of one that’s adaptable to many different uses, depending on how teachers collaborate. Here are a few things it can do and how we hope to use them:


    • Utilize the Group Forum where participant teachers can have online discussions, sharing ideas and information on connecting with student dreams.
    • Individual schools and teachers connect in whatever ways seem best.

  • Already, we’ve had a Skype connection between students at an all girls school near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with an all female group of high school students from the in Tehran, Iran.Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 10.07.01 PM
  • Create Student Registration on the YOUTH FORUM where individual students can post their flags–or a link to them on Dreamline-and then TALK with each other about them. This is a wonderfully promising feature of this system.Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 10.09.10 PM
  • Students will also be encouraged to # the Dreamline postings with one or more of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals to quickly connect with others who share their dreams.

And beyond that?

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Well there’s quite a lot beyond that because every single one of the 100 projects listed in the 2017-18 iEARN Project Book is aligned to one or more of the UN SDGs. So in the months after posting flags, students can begin to collaborate on global projects that reach toward their dreams together. And THAT is how the world will change from the ground up!

And if this seems like the Dream Flags and Dreamline experience you’d like to have this year? What do you do?

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 10.15.18 PM

  • Adults have to join iEARN first, then sign up for The Dreamline on their site.
  • Joining is free for educators outside of the USA and is about a $100 fee for USA schools.
  • And it means access not just to the Dreamline iEARN project but hundreds of others that may be of use this year. It’s one of the best Professional Development deals around.

I suggest that you take a few minutes to explore iEARN this week. I think you’ll see many footprints of people from around the world who are just like you. I know I did.


Dreamline and UN SDGs–a clear and present voice for change

With the Smurfs and the millennials and the UN and the media groups and the power of Dotsub behind our student dreamers, I can’t wait to get started….


E_SDG goals_icons-individual-rgb-16
Dream as a bird in the sky, soaring high freely in space.
Waiting for an achiever to be the beginning of peace.
By a high school student in Morocco

E_SDG goals_icons-individual-rgb-04
People lose thing in their hearts
People become crazy
Books make people understand
What is true, the good and the beautiful
By an elementary student in Shanghai, China

The Sustainable Development Goals, known as the SDGs, were adopted by the Heads of State and Governments at the United Nations in September of 2015.  They cover 17 key areas for positive global change, from an end to hunger to gender equity to clean air and water. Their target for realization is 2030, 12 years from now.

Last August from the 13th to the 21st, 1000 millennials gathered in Copenhagen to brainstorm and realize paths to achieving these goals. The event was created and supported by UNLEASH, a consortium of global commercial and nonprofit organizations.

From September 25th to the 27th, the UN held a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Summit in New York City attended by 150 world leaders and convened as a high level plenary meeting of the General Assembly.

The week before, PVBLIC Foundation hosted its Media for Social Impact Summit in New York City, focusing on the UN SDGs and supported by Spotify, IMAX, HBO, Sony, Angry Birds, and dozens of other major media enterprises. Their One For All campaign, gathering corporate pledges to support one SDG, is sending this message:

On October 14th the animated children’s series Thomas & Friends, which is aired in 110 countries in 33 languages, announced it will be including 5 of the UN Sustainability Goals in the storylines of upcoming episodes. Earlier in the year, Sony announced integration of UN SDGs into it’s Smurf animation programming:

So what does this have to do with Dreamline? Plenty.

When we look at our students’ dreams, the theme of peace and justice is easy to find. So is good education, a healthy environment, meaningful rewarding work, and nearly every other area identified in the SDGs.

We can see from the beta testing on Dreamline that our students are already dreaming about these kinds of changes we need for the good of all–expressing them in words and art that are original and powerful.

To see what we’d find, we tagged all of the student dreams posted in Dreamline to date so they can be searched by any SDG. Just go to our Gallery, put in any SDG (for example #SDG4 for Quality Education) and you’ll see all of the flags that address that issue.

Here’s what we found:

TOP 5 from our sample of student flags from USA, Belize, China, Morocco, and Tanzania

E_SDG goals_icons-individual-rgb-16 16.5%
Students dream of a safer world and an end to fighting and war. Students dream of a world that’s more fair.

E_SDG goals_icons-individual-rgb-15 14.8%
Students dream of a healthy environment for plants and animals everywhere. Many students are especially concerned about treatment and habitat of animals.

E_SDG goals_icons-individual-rgb-03 12.7%
Students dream about a cure for cancer, about healthy family members, and about access to compassionate care.

E_SDG goals_icons-individual-rgb-10 11.6 %
Students dream of a more fair world and especially a more inclusive world.

E_SDG goals_icons-individual-rgb-08 9.9%
Students dream of having a job that is meaningful and of their family members having jobs that can support them.

And here’s the big picture…Dreamline SDG Graph(3-c)

In the sample flags of our students we see and hear a clear and present voice for change,  beautifully expressed in art and poetry. We can see areas where educational programs can add to students’ current awareness of topics.

Our students’ dreams are a rich resource for inspiration and positive change. They come organically from the heart, across cultures and ages.

And in the larger world? In the world of 50 million teachers with their students globally? In every language?

Through our new partnership with Dotsub and the vision of its founder Michael Smolens, we’re forming a future where students can share dreams with each other and the wider public in any language. Dotsub enables stories told in any language to be available in any other language.

We’d like to see at least 10,000,000 student voices declaring and sharing their dreams on Dreamline well before 2030.

We’d like to tag them with SDG alignment, adding their collecive voices–unqustionably sincere and urgent–to the chorus calling for positive global change at a time when we need it most.

We want to offer our students connection to each other through those SDG alignments. We’d like to engage our students in age appropriate SDG-aligned colaborative projects (such as those already available through iEARN,)  transforming their shared dreams into  goals, and helping make those goals our shared reality. Before 2030.

Can we do this?

With the Smurfs and the millennials and the UN and the media groups and the power of Dotsub behind our student dreamers, I can’t wait to get started….

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