Each winter for the past eight years, GLSEN's offices are flooded with hundreds of entries for the No Name-Calling Week Creative Expression Contest. Elementary, middle- and high-school students from all corners of the country send us drawings, poems, videos, songs and other original artwork, all centered on the same theme: the impact of name-calling on them and their peers, and what needs to be done to promote respect for all. A gallery of past winners is available here.
Seeing those entries come in is a high point of each year for me. Each one represents thoughtful engagement with a serious and difficult issue, and a measure of hope and faith on the part of each student artist that they can make a difference with their work. Schools
This year is a special one, as James Howe and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing celebrate the tenth anniversary of the publication of The Misfits, the book that inspired the whole idea of a No Name-Calling Week in the first place. James Howe and Simon and Schuster have been our partners in NNCW from the very beginning, and I thank them so very much for inspiring and supporting such a critical event in our K-12 schools.
The contest entries generated across the country this week will begin arriving in our offices soon. I look forward to sharing this year's winning entries with you in the spring, but not before all of us here at GLSEN have been buoyed up by this week's activities and the expressions of hope they generate.