The 100 Day Reality Challenge

SIxth Annual Iles Writer's Conference/ Opening Remarks

Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge” As we celebrate all we are learning about reading and writing, we are also joining our imaginations together to create something beautiful.

“IMAGINE: What Kind of World Do You Want?” is about coming together to dream a dream using our thoughts, words, actions, and most importantly our imaginations to help our dreams come true. Thoughts are powerful. Words are powerful. Actions are powerful. Dreams are powerful. And knowledge is power.

Today, Trevor is back at Iles with Woody, all the way from Texas. Tony is back from Los Angeles, and new this year, Laura Duksta is here from Florida. These internationally known authors came all the way from their warm, sunny states to be with us in cold central Illinois. These creators come together with us, in addition to the many accomplished local authors, artists and musicians you will meet throughout the day today. Why have all of these people come to our school today? What are we imagining together?
Love. Peace. Justice. We are covering the world with love. A Peace Park.

I will quote Iles students from our upcoming book “IMAGINE: What Kind of World Do You Want?”
“I want a world with no war.
I want a world full of love and friendship, where people don’t fight about religion, but respect and appreciate their differences.
I see a world with no prisons because no one steals anymore. Everyone has what they need.
I see a world where everyone gets along, we are kind to animals and the planet.”

Today we celebrate our involvement in The O Ambassador Program. The Oprah Winfrey Angel Network partners with Free the Children to provide educational service learning experiences in order to create positive and compassionate global citizens. Last year, we built two wells in East Asia, and because of that, several girls are now attending school everyday instead of hauling water. This year, we have learned more about the children across the globe, as well as connecting with our partner school Laurel Elementary School in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Many of you have also done service work in our community. We had a local food drive, provided gifts and food to several families over the holidays, and will be making May Baskets for the Senior Center. We are also celebrating our application process to become an International Baccalaureate School.

We would like to dedicate this conference to Yoko Ono, who was the inspiration for “Yoko’s Chair”, and has granted us the use of John’s song “IMAGINE”. We join with her dream of a peaceful world, covering the world with love, beginning with our own school, and creating something beautiful for our planet.
Thank you to everyone who is here today. Thank you, thank you.
And please welcome Tom Irwin singing, John Lennon’s hit song, “MAGINE”. And feel free to sing along with him.

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Comment by LyzByth on March 16, 2009 at 12:14pm
Greetings Sherry:
So excellent ... in every way!
An outstanding experience for the children and adults blessed to be at this event.

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