Such bubbling excitement filled the room as the Heroes came back together after their experience at our Children’s Business Fair. As we sat down around our circle, they shared and celebrated what went well for them (“we made a lot of money!” 🙂 ) and what they plan to do differently for the next fair in the Spring. Some shared new ideas of products they hoped to make, while others shared how they wanted to keep having the courage to talk with people they didn’t know. In any case, they were already EXCITED to do this again!
This week, our Heroes continued to discover and practice sharing things they are grateful for, as we wrapped up this session’s focus on Gratitude and Optimism. As we heard the story of the first Thanksgiving and considered what it would be like to be without food or warm shelter in the first cold winter, or how it would feel to lose our family members to disease, they realized first hand how grateful the Pilgrims would feel for the Native Americans who chose love instead of fear or control. When asked what they wanted to do to celebrate Thanksgiving together, they immediately thought of their favorite foods to bring for our “feast” and couldn’t wait to get started on making their costumes!
This is one powerful way that children transform into trailblazers! As we take the time in the studio for the heroes to generate ideas, try them out, reflect, and make adjustments, they build their sense of identify and courage to live life as an active creator of their experiences – instead of being a passive observer or follower. Making costumes in an open, hero-led way is a beautiful example. One hero (as seen above) tried three different ideas before she landed on her final iteration! She felt so proud!
Another example of the heroes learning to create their experience is seen in our “Move-It!” time each day. Each Hero takes a turn choosing a game, and then decides and communicates the rules. The rest of the Heroes embrace the challenge of 1) following the rules – even if they don’t prefer them – and 2) participating with a good attitude – even if they don’t prefer the game. After a short group discussion where Heroes offer ideas to each other for rules, the lead Hero makes a decision and off we go to play the game! This rich experience allows children to learn to become “game makers” – trying out ideas and learning for themselves the balance between freedom and rules in creating a fun game, as well as building empathy, respect and kindness for those who have different ideas and preferences! Some of the Heroes’ favorites so far have been creating different varieties of soccer, “Sharks and Minnows”, and ball tag!
In a world where people can be tempted to silence internal thoughts and passions in the name of “falling in line” or “checking off the boxes” or just doing what “has to be done”, we are casting a different vision. Think big. Discover deep. Have the courage to acknowledge your passions and step out to use them to change the world. After all, what is the value of a community if each of us are not present and offering our gifts? Offering our genuine presence and journey of growth to each other produces a rich, inspiring community where we are known, loved and growing into our potential. This is the beauty of our tight-knit learner-driven community; our children are absorbing the mindset of their value, and how to offer their authentic selves and their gifts to one another in community. No longer will they grow up to be adults content to be a silent observer. We are nurturing active participants in life – creators, trailblazers – world changers. What powerful little seeds.