Wish: Recognizing You: Empowering the Magic of Gifts and Talents


awards, silly awards, full of surprises award, most spiritual award, most silly award, most eaten popcorn award

Summer Camp 2010 is 12 days away!  As a teacher, I always wish to know how to best empower my campers to find the magic of their gifts and talents.

These awards were invented by one of my campers.  He has a gift for insight, humor and recognition.  He had fun giving these awards away with kindness to his peers.  He gave me the most smelly award which I’m fairly certain in boy humor is a compliment (I also got to act like an ape which made everyone laugh)

Art Yowza was recently given an award from the Alameda Education Foundation for bringing innovation into the schools.  It was a total surprise!  I’m so lucky to live in a community where I can develop my leadership and be self-expressed.


Thanks Jaimie for asking, “What do you wish to know?”


What award would you secretly love to receive?  What recognition would  you love to give?


Dream bigger!


Labels are like tags. We’re all just fishing for connection.


Scoutiegirl asks: Do you struggle with a need to put a label on yourself and what you do? Do you make excuses or offer explanation where none is needed?


I believe labels are a way for the other person in conversation to feel comfortable enough to continue conversation or introduce me to another more interesting conversationalist.

If my fellow conversationalist is awkward, I put my focus is on being of service.  So I ask more questions, have compassion and listen. When I’m at my best, I seek connection in my attitude and not judgment (of myself or others).  I try to imagine that like me, other people don’t want to be rejected, pigeonholed or blown off.

Sometimes people are just doing a quick scan based on their needs.  They might be seeking a lawyer or a marathon-training buddy.  If it’s not me, I might  have a connection for them and they might have a good one for me.

If I keep an open attitude and a smile, I trust that the more interesting sparkly people will come my way eventually.


• Labels are just the social lubricant of conversation.

• Being labeled doesn’t bother me the more I am at peace with myself.

• Making up labels up for myself is fun flirting.

• Give people the opportunity to share about themselves.

• Labels are like tags.  We’re all just fishing for connection.


How do you introduce yourself?  What is your gift label?  How can you be kind and generous in conversation?


Life Skills: Happiness and Imaginative Play


Play is an important part of the Art Yowza day.  By play, I mean pure play — unstructured, child motivated and directed.  Imaginative play  takes it’s own time to develop  where the kids are making their own games and rules.  We mix play and art work throughout the day.   When the kids come in from play, the art is enriched by the ideas and community they’ve shared.

I found this video about play through the blog Half-Full: The science of raising happy kids.


1. Play helps kids regulate their emotions and behavior

2. Imaginative play helps kids develop their social skills

3. Lack of play time in our culture is slowing the cognitive development of our children.

Click here to read more about how to encourage play at your house .