Beginning this Friday, December 9, 2016, we invite you to celebrate the 7th annual Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day. The celebration will last through the premier of Rogue One next weekend, so you have more than one chance to show your Star Wars spirit.
How to Participate
There are three simple ways to celebrate this amazing event! You can participate on an individual level, or you can organize a group celebration at your company, school, etc.
- Wear something that shows your Star Wars pride.
- Donate a new, unwrapped Star Wars toy to a child in need (but please put a post-it note on each new, unwrapped toy specifying that it can go to a girl or a boy; otherwise, these traditional "boy toys" will be given only to boys).
- Share a picture of yourself in your Star Wars clothing or costume on the Facebook event page or on Twitter with the hashtag #WearShareStarWars2016
Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day is an opportunity to wear your favorite Star Wars clothing, donate new Star Wars toys to needy kids in time for the holidays, AND take a stand against gender-based bullying!
This amazing event originated in November of 2010, when the international community of Star Wars fans rallied to support my first grade daughter Katie, who was being taunted by the kids at school because she was a girl who loved Star Wars.
Aided by the speed and ease of social media, thousands of people sent the story of Star Wars Katie zipping around the globe. Your voices have been passionate and compassionate, and they continue to inspire us to support others year after year.
Members of the 501st Legion even banded together to build Katie a custom set of Stormtrooper armor in 2012. Two years later, Katie gave her one-of-a-kind armor to a bullied little girl named Allison, and in the summer of 2015, Allison passed the armor forward yet again to a little bullied girl named Layla. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Armor is testimony to the goodness inherent in people, especially Star Wars fans.
Every December, on a Friday, we now hold Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars day. This year’s event falls exactly a week before the release of Rogue One! It will be a Force Friday to remember.
Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars: School Programming Ideas for Bullying Prevention
- Invite each child to wear or bring something Star Wars-related (or, to make it more inclusive, the children can pick ANYTHING special to wear that represents a special interest of theirs).
- Invite each child to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to a holiday toy drive. In the classrooms, the children can create Gift Tags to attach to each toy that say, “This toy can go to a girl or a boy.” This is to prevent the toys from being segregated by gender, which only reinforces stereotypes. The school can collect all the toys and bring them to a Toys-for-Tots collection site. If you have a lot, ask if Toys for Tots will do a pickup at your school.
- Older students can write a play about gender stereotypes and perform it for the younger students. In one school, the fourth graders put together an amazing play. It featured a girl who was pressured to try out for cheerleading, even though she really wanted to play basketball. The girl had to find a way to tell her friends that her interests were different from theirs. At first, the other girls rejected her, but one classmate eventually supported her, and others started to speak up too. In the end, the cheerleaders showed up at one of the girl’s basketball games to cheer her on. The fourth graders performed the play for grades K-3 and then held a discussion.
- Students can make signs or posters about how there are all different ways to be a boy or a girl. Posters might show both boys and girls doing diverse activities such as cooking or drawing or playing soccer or dancing. A girl might love ballet and Star Wars too! A boy might love My Little Pony and cars and trucks too.
- A teacher can hold a class discussion about new ways for stores to label toys, instead of toys being labeled “Girls’ Toys” and “Boys’ Toys”. What types of labels can students envision? What types of toys would belong to each group? The class could then design a mock toy store and plan out the shelves. One section of a toy store might be labeled “Building Toys”. In that section, we might find Legos, Megablocks, etc. Another section might be labeled “Nurturing Toys” and could include baby dolls, toy strollers, toy cribs, etc. There could be a section called “Fashion Toys” that includes fashion dolls, jewelry craft kits, etc. Try it out, and see what your students create!
- Students can watch scenes from Star Wars that feature women in strong roles; for example, Princess Leia aids the rescue mission on Tatooine in Return of the Jedi by killing Jaba the Hut, using the same chains with which she was enslaved. Students can discuss the metaphor of Leia using her slave chains to overcome her captor. Or they could discuss how, in the Phantom Menace, Queen Amidala leads the attack force into the capital to liberate her planet from the Trade Federation's Invasion Force. Or they could discuss how Rey, an unknown scavenger, discovers that she has enormous hidden Jedi powers that allow her to defeat Kylo Ren both cognitively and physically.
- Each classroom teacher can hold a Sharing Circle, where the kids sit in a circle on the floor. Each child gets a chance to share and explain why he or she is a fan of Star Wars (or whatever else the child has chosen to represent).
- Another way to do the Sharing Circle is to invite the students to write a short essay about why they love Star Wars – or whatever else they choose -- and they can read the essays to the class at the Sharing Circle.
- To use the Sharing Circle as an opportunity to encourage students to develop more empathy for each other, the teacher can assign partners. The partners can interview each other about their special interests. During the Sharing Circle, the students can share their findings about their partner with the class as a whole.
- Read the new chapter books Jazzy's Quest: Adopted and Amazing and Jazzy’s Quest: What Matters Most with your class and discuss themes of anti-bullying, adoption, and identity. Katie Goldman even helped write Jazzy's Quest!
As you are out doing your holiday shopping and purchasing new Star Wars toys, go ahead and buy just one more toy to donate. What a fantastic way to prepare for the excitement of Rogue One!
Here are some pictures from previous WSWSSW Days:
Learn more about Katie’s inspiring Star Wars story in the award-winning book Bullied. Follow author and Star Wars fan Carrie Goldman on Twitter. Check out our new children’s book about Star Wars-loving adoptee Jazzy Armstrong in Jazzy’s Quest: Adopted and Amazing and Jazzy's Quest: What Matters Most!