What was I thinking?
People fear what they do not know. By developing the Bead People as an international sign of peace and celebration of our differences, we open a conversation that lets us into the lives of others. Our plan is to establish a curriculum of connection using The Bead People project as a masthead. Children or adults create a Bead Person and send it along with the Wind of a Thousand Years story to a person in another country or area different than theirs. An exchange and a conversation are created as the person responds by making their own Bead Person from local beads and sending it back again. Included would be an online journal (with translation) so partners could get to know each other.
The Bead People have already been to 40 countries (8000 of them), but this has all been an informal growth. I want now to create a multigenerational curriculum, develop the student exchange structure, and begin the project formally. This boost would get the project off the ground. The Bead People Curriculum of Connection could be developed for all ages from K through adult. The goal is communication across the race, language, and cultural barriers that we experience. We are already doing projects for schools and youth and adult groups, but I want to create a formal structure and get it rolling.
Possible community partner include schools, churches, youth organizations, social awareness groups, seniors.
We established The Bead People International as a South Dakota nonprofit but have not taken it further.