Victor Nellum of Colorado Uplift tells his experience with The Imagine Project
“The Imagine Project has really taken off in my district. I completed the project in my 5th grade classroom at the beginning of the school year and the outcome was powerful beyond words. The things the students were able to relinquish and say during this project were mind blowing. I have since shared your project with other teachers at our Institute Day and to school board members at a meeting just last night. Everyone that hears about the Imagine Project and how it is impacting my staff and students are in awe. I am so excited about where our district is heading in regards to students’ mental health and overall well-being. I truly believe that your project is what is going to propel our district in the right direction! I am truly amazed Dianne. Thank you so much for allowing me to use your project along this journey. I will not go another year in my teaching career without using this project.”
“I sat in on all three classrooms while they did the bulk of the project and it was really a fascinating process to be a part of. I saw many kids really engaged in the writing process, many chose to share their stories and the displays of support and empathy by fellow students was beautiful to behold. One interesting thing I noticed was that, for the most part, the kids who “act out” as a result of their traumatic lives really struggled with this project. Many of them chose not to participate, which we made clear was OK.I understand that for many of them, it is difficult to even try to access those traumatic experiences. I also realized many of them struggle with writing in general. I observed some who did not write a story, but came up and verbally shared a few sentences using the “Imagine” format. Many of the stories I heard read aloud were from kids that were not necessarily even on my radar as a counselor. Whether these students internalize more, rather than acting out, or are just more comfortable with writing in general, probably a mixture of both. It was good for me to hear their stories so I better understand them. It is too often those kids who do not act out that do not always land on our radar and often suffer in silence. I was glad they were connected with this as a tool to get those things out.
The teachers were awesome and enthusiastic the minute I brought this idea to their attention. I think we are all interested to see the longterm impact, especially around the area of empathy.
Thanks so much for what you do, you are truly impacting lives in such a positive way!”
Counselor, Eastgate Elementary
“I loved the project and some of the kids created really meaningful Imagine poems :)”
5th Grade teacher