"A legacy is fundamental to what it is to be human," says educator Susan V. Bosak. "It is an interconnection across time, with a need for those who have come before us and a responsibility to those who come after us." With this in mind, Bosak created the Legacy Project, an educational endeavor aiming at nurturing children's dreams and creativity. Through the program's many initiatives, including books, activity kits, contests, and art exhibits, Bosak is making her own dream a reality. We talked with Bosak to find out more.
Scholastic.com Parents: What exactly is the Legacy Project?
Susan Bosak: The Legacy Project is a big-picture education initiative. It has activities and ideas that are practical in helping children develop core life skills like goal-setting and dreaming. The most important gift a parent or grandparent can give a child is to help them discover who they are.
SP: What is the Dream book and what is its purpose?
Bosak: Dream was a five-year project. We went into schools and worked with kids, teachers, and families to provide parents with something they could take in all different directions. It is comprised of poetry, inspirational quotes, a multilayered story text, and work from 15 top illustrators. The picture-book format is an extremely powerful form of art because of its ability to reach all ages.
SP: Why is the end of the year so important for kids?
Bosak: The end of the year is a milestone. These days, kids graduate from kindergarten and elementary school! There is a vitality in helping kids be proud of that milestone. The important thing is that the end of the year marks the passage of time. It is essential for kids to develop a sense of time and where they are in time, in addition to appreciating their own accomplishments.
SP: What can parents do to enhance the end-of-year experience?
Bosak: You want to encourage kids to look back on what they've learned over the past school year. One activity we have in the Star Highlight kit is the Top 10 List. Parents can talk with children and brainstorm about sports, school, new friends, or field trips. Then have them write their list from one to ten of their favorite things from the past year. This helps them reflect and think, and creates a nice bonding moment for parents and children.
SP: What if it hasn't been a good year?
Bosak: Look at what you learned from the bad year — that's another skill. I do school visits, so I know that every child has had a bad day. Even when you're scared, you have to find courage to get out of that place. If they have had a bad year, it is especially important to talk about what was hard, what they are sad about, what they can do differently, and what they have learned from things that have happened.