Rochester district seal & The Dot book cover image of girl creating a dot

The Rochester School Department has joined over 22 million children and adults around the globe in 197 countries to celebrate International Dot Day – a grassroots “creativity and courage” movement, started in 2009 by a teacher in Iowa. Inspired by New York Times best-selling author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds’ classic storybook for all ages The Dot, International Dot Day inspires young and old to embrace the power of personal creativity to help make their mark on the world, and move it to a better place. 

The Rochester School Department is planning to celebrate Dot Day at all eight elementary schools on September 15, 2022.  Please monitor school social media channels to see all of the activities and smiles shared between students and staff.  dot_book_cover_dropshadow.jpg

“The reason why Rochester Elementary Schools are participating is to find simple opportunities at school to find joy and to celebrate the courage and creativity that makes each one of us unique,” said Superintendent, Kyle Repucci.

International Dot Day began when Iowa teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Reynolds’ book, and noticed the original publishing date of The Dot was Sept. 15, 2003. Shay and his students decided to celebrate the book’s birthday – and, little did they know, launched what would become a worldwide celebration of creativity and courage to “make your mark.” 

The Dot, is an invitation to students to be creative, and experience a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, said Shay, a public school teacher for over two decades “Every great teacher works for those transformational moments.”  

Exploring the themes of creativity, bravery and self-expression, The Dot is a story of a perceptive and caring teacher who reaches a reluctant student who thinks she can’t draw by encouraging her to be brave enough to “just make a mark and see where it takes you.”  The Dot has been translated into many languages (including Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Hebrew, Spanish and even Braille) and the animated film of The Dot (produced by Reynolds’ multimedia design and development firm FableVision Studios and co-producer Scholastic) earned the Carnegie Medal of Excellence. 

After launching in 2009, International Dot Day garnered increasing attention, simply through word of mouth, in schools, libraries, and communities around the globe. By 2011, registrations had reached 17,500 participants in several states. Noticing the phenomenon, The Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning, & Creativity (, Reynolds’ nonprofit educational R&D and creative learning support center, helped provide program support for the worldwide Dot Day event. The organization built and manages the International Dot Day website (, which provides free registration for the event, along with many free resources, including downloadable Dot Day Educator’s Handbook, multilingual posters, and an official participation certificate. With the Reynolds Center’s help, participation soared past the 850,000 mark in 2012 – and, by 2013 involvement grew to 1.3 million participants in 84 countries. The count now stands at nearly 22 million in 197 countries. 

Shay can’t quite believe how Dot Day has caught on, “The success of International Dot Day is owed to many people who believed in a more creative and connected world and made it happen.”