Below you’ll find some suggestions for how to share the SBYF Project in a group setting. I’ve developed this format over the past year or so, but like everything in teaching and in life, there isn’t one absolute way to do it. Feel free to tailor the program to best fit your age group and time constraints.
–What You’ll Need to Get Started–
*Card stock paper
The official cards are 6”x11.5” but the exact size isn’t crucial. You can use regular white paper, or construction paper, but card stock paper is preferred, as it will last longer.
*Basic Art Supplies (Colored Pencils, Markers, Glue, Scissors)
*A copy of the “Spaces Between Your Fingers” parable (optional)
–Introducing the Project–
By far the easiest way to introduce the project is to show the SBYF video.
–The Workshop —
Before jumping into the card-making, take a few minutes to let each participant reflect on some of his or her own experiences. One fun way of doing this is to break into pairs and have them interview one another, like newspaper reporters. Some sample questions you might use are:
1) Think back…what was your very first job? Do you remember what you were paid? Was it a good experience or a bad experience–why?
2) When you think of someone who is wise…whose face do you imagine? Why?
3) Imagine you’re flipping through the photo album of your life, page by page, year by year. Suddenly you stop–there, you think, that was one of the happiest times in my life. Tell us about this photo. Where are you? Who are you with? Why were you so happy?
4) If you could jump in a time machine and go back in time…when would you go and what advice would you give yourself?
The important thing is that everyone draw wisdom from his/her own unique experiences and passions, rather than approaching it abstractly or relying on cliches.
At last – the fun part! With my classes, I like to distribute the cards at the end of the class and have them bring them in the next day (this works better with older students). However, you may choose to make the cards right in class – and that works too!
Here are the three simple steps:
1. Trace your hand. (It’s fun. Imagine you are pressing your hand into wet cement.)
2. Inside or around the handprint, write a postcard to a stranger. It should be addressed to someone in the future who finds his/herself in a specific “life situation” that you’ve already been through. Try to zero in on a specific moment in time. Imagine you could deliver a secret message to yourself at the bus stop before your first day of school, fixing your hair at the mirror before your first date, wringing your hands in a doctor’s waiting room, negotiating to buy a house or a car, dancing at your wedding reception…the situations are endless. What do you wish you knew? If you want to tell a little story, or give a little context, definitely go for it. It doesn’t have to be formal; it’s a postcard, after all.
(For anyone feeling stuck, a good, simple formula is to begin your postcard by writing about a specific memory, as vividly as you can, then explain what you learned from that experience.)
–When You’re Done–
After you’ve collected the cards, it’s most efficient to mail them in a single envelope to:
265 Ellis Rd.
Havertown, PA 19083
Just because the mailman carries them away, however, doesn’t mean the project is over. By submitting a card you are joining a grassroots movement that is growing larger every day. You can keep in touch via the blog and facebook page!