Changing the World, One Crayon at at Time

I’m back! I know there is a small-but-loyal following for this blog, and perhaps some of you noticed my being AWOL the last few months. Truth is, I’ve been so busy writing that managing a blog, too, was more than I could do. I just finished the manuscript for the 7th edition of Creativity in the Classroom: Schools of Curious Delight. More than 25 years ago, when the first edition came out, I never could have imagined seven editions, but here we are. If all goes according to plan, it will be available at the beginning of 2022, in time for second semester. With each new edition I’ve tried hard to make sure it is a genuine improvement over the editions before and that’s true this time, too. The most interesting changes—at least to me—are that I consolidated some of the background information on early theories a bit to make room for a totally new chapter on working to create school spaces at the school and district level. This led me to learning and thinking about leadership for creativity, which I’m sure I’ll write about in weeks to come. 

 But for today, I want to catch up on one of the things I read about while I was busy writing: Time Magazine’s 2020 “Kid of the Year” honoree, Bellen Woodard. Ten-year-old Woodard is a self-declared crayon activist. Her “More Than Peach” project began when a classmate asked for the “skin color” crayon in class, referencing a peach-tone crayon. She quickly realized that there was no crayon representing her dark skin tone available, and a movement was born. She started using her own money to provide schools with bundles of crayons representing a range of skin tones. She gained recognition from Scholastic Magazine, and the word spread. Currently, Bellen’s “More Than Peach Crayons” are available at her website and Crayola has come up with “Multi-cultural Skin Tone Crayons” of its own. Her vision of changed language around crayons and skin tones is evidence of creative thinking put to work. Want to be inspired? Watch Woodard below.

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