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Spot the Dot Around Town for International Dot Day

Are you seeing spots in North Branford and Northford? If so, it’s your chance to win a prize with the Spot the Dot contest.

North Branford and Northford will be dotted with fun from Sept. 10 to Sept. 22 in honor of International Dot Day, which is Saturday, Sept. 15. In addition to a town-wide search for the red-orange dots, there will be story hours and a Dot Open House at the , dot-based lessons at  (TVES) and prizes.

What is International Dot Day?

According to International Dot Day’s website, International Dot Day was launched by teacher Terry Shay when he introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on Sept. 15, 2009. (Fun Fact: Terry chose September 15 because the original publishing date of The Dot is September 15, 2003!) The Dot tells the story of a caring teacher who reaches a reluctant student in a remarkably creative way. The teacher dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark.” What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.

The website says there are more than 15,000 Dot Day events scheduled with almost 400,000 students involved all over the world. This is the first year that North Branford will be joining this international event.

, the librarian at TVES and , attended a weeklong conference for teachers of gifted and talented programs at UConn where Reynolds was a speaker.

“His message was about how creativity takes courage,” said Seiden. “He said he’s noticed, when he visits schools, that when he asks kindergarteners who’s an artist, everyone raises their hand, but as they get older less and less kids think of themselves in that way. At some point some of us put down our crayons and stop creating.”

Inspired by his passion for creativity, Seiden approached , with an idea for Dot Day.

“It sounded like a lot of fun,” said Verrillo. “It’s all about fostering creativity in children.”

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Spot the Dot!

International Dot Day will actually be celebrated over the course of almost two weeks, highlighted by a town-wide Spot the Dot hunt. While browsing Reynolds’ websites, Seiden noticed a suggested activity was a scavenger hunt.

“I saw that and it was also around the same time a lot of the towns were doing a Where’s Waldo so I just combined the ideas and thought we could find the dots,” she said.

So, beginning Sept. 10, 12 white and reddish-orange dots (see attached picture to know what you’re looking for!) will be hidden all over town for residents to find. When you ‘Spot the Dot,’ you can either scan the QR Code on the dot or write down the code and the dot’s location.

Then you enter the information online to enter to win prizes. The more dots you find, the more times you’re entered! The prize drawing will be held on Sept. 22.

Don’t have a computer? Don’t worry…you can still play! Just bring a list of the dots you find to the children’s department at the Smith Library.

Other Dot Activities

In addition to Spot the Dot, there will be lots of other dot-based fun around town as students at TVES will be taking part in dot-based lessons with Seiden and Verrillo has special programs planned at the library.

Verrillo will host several story times at Smith Library where she will read The Dot and lead activities. There will also be a  on Saturday, Sept. 15 complete with refreshments. To register for the free programs at the library, call 203-484-0469.

  • Story Hour and Dot Activities for children ages: 3 to 8 on  at noon or  at 6:30 p.m.
  •  on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. All ages welcome!

“Peter Reynolds wanted everyone to take the time to read the book and be inspired,” said Verrillo. “By the time some kids reach a certain age, they think they’re not good at something, but this book lets them know that everyone can be creative.”

At TVES, Seiden is in the midst of reading The Dot to all of the 3rd-, 4th- and 5th-grade classes. She is reading the book in both its traditional form as well as using the Smart Board to share Reynolds's story.

The school's Magic Mailbox, which is always open to students to submit their creative works, is already full of submissions for the school's Dot Contest in which students and staff can share their own Dot masterpieces. Students can also create virtual dots on an iPad during their library classes.

“I just love the idea behind this–just make a mark and see where it takes us, be courageous enough to be creative,” said Seiden. “Adults need to model this and our world needs more of this.”

Residents can also share their work by

Fast Facts

What: Spot the Dot
When: Sept. 10 to Sept. 22
Where: All over Northford and North Branford
Enter to Win: Fill out this form

For more on International Dot Day, check out the Facebook page or follow DotClubConnect on Twitter.

Debbie Verrillo September 14, 2012 at 08:02 PM
CLUE: Thanks to all the grownups for taking the time to search for dots. If you are getting tired, "dunkin" here to find a dot!!
Debbie Verrillo September 14, 2012 at 08:09 PM
CLUE: Oh no! This dot almost got away. Thanks Mr. Schoonmaker for keeping an eye on it for us!!
Anna-Maria Lee September 15, 2012 at 10:52 AM
We've had lots of fun finding 3 dots so far! Off today to find more!! Also, through hunting down dots, we discovered that Atwater library had a patio! We never knew that!!
Debbie Verrillo September 15, 2012 at 01:20 PM
CLUE: This dot is mailing a letter to it's Aunt Dottie.
Debbie Verrillo September 15, 2012 at 01:21 PM
CLUE: This dot is searching the aisles for a nutritious snack.
Debbie Verrillo September 15, 2012 at 06:33 PM
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL DOT DAY!! I just heard from Mrs. Seiden that there are 182 entries now. There is still time to "Spot the Dot" and enter the codes on line or at the Smith Library. 6 more days of dot fun!!
Jenn McCulloch September 16, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Great clues Debbie and Anna!
Adrianna Cacopardo September 16, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Adrianna Cacopardo and Tina had a great time yesterday searching for the dots picked up some apples at Roses Orchard to make an apple pie. We found a total of 8 dots so far.
Jenn McCulloch September 16, 2012 at 09:22 PM
You're on a great pace to find all 12 Adrianna! And the pie sounds delish!
Deirdre Salemme September 17, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Can we have a little more of a hint on this one? :)
Deirdre Salemme September 17, 2012 at 05:18 PM
We found 7 dots, so far! We need some more hints!! :)
Jenn McCulloch September 17, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Hmm. sounds like you're 'good to go,' Deirdre...I hear another dot takes a special interest in town government....
Deirdre Salemme September 17, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Didn't see one there...
Jenn McCulloch September 17, 2012 at 05:51 PM
2 clues in here, but if you're talking about the second spot, it was down the hall a bit, not right in the entryway....
Debbie Verrillo September 17, 2012 at 06:09 PM
CLUE: This Dot stopped in Northford to buy some stamps.
Debbie Verrillo September 17, 2012 at 06:18 PM
CLUE: These dots are enjoying reading fun at both ends of town.
Debbie Verrillo September 17, 2012 at 06:20 PM
CLUE: It's going to be a real workout finding this dot.
Debbie Verrillo September 18, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Wow! 249 Spot the Dot entries as of today and 4 more days to go!
Jenn McCulloch September 18, 2012 at 06:41 PM
That's amazing! How many has everyone found?
adrianna September 20, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Adrianna, Tina and a little help from John have found a total of 9 dots we need more clues. :)
Jennifer LaBree September 20, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Sam has 11 dots:) Need another clue...
alena September 23, 2012 at 01:06 AM
i found a dot at dunkin dounuts forrest rd . !!!!!!!
alena September 23, 2012 at 01:08 AM
i found it at the northford post office from al!!!!!
alena September 23, 2012 at 01:09 AM
i found it at northford store ! from al
alena September 23, 2012 at 01:11 AM
post office 1
alena September 23, 2012 at 01:12 AM
cool alena esposito !
alena September 23, 2012 at 01:14 AM
is it the edward smith and atwater alena esposito
alena September 23, 2012 at 01:15 AM
north brandford cumunity center gym
alena September 23, 2012 at 01:16 AM
did u check at northford store
Denise September 23, 2012 at 01:23 AM
We had sooooo much fun finding all the dots! Thomas & Nicolette

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