Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars 2015: A Force Friday Call to Action

On Friday, December 4, 2015, we invite YOU to celebrate the 6th annual Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day.  With your help, it will be one of the biggest pre-parties for Episode 7 that takes place around the world!

In addition to being an awesome party, Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day is an opportunity to donate new Force Awakens toys to kids in need in time for the holidays AND a way to take a stand against bullying!

In 2010, 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. “I like Princess Leia, because she was adopted, like me,” Katie said.

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 a few months ago, Allison passed the armor forward yet again to a bullied little girl named Layla. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Armor is a great example of the Light Side of the Force.

Every December, on a Friday, we now hold Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars day. But this year is going to be even more amazing than usual – because the event falls on December 4th, exactly two weeks before The Force Awakens comes out. It will be a Force Friday to remember.

How to Participate:
There are three simple ways to celebrate this amazing day! 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 #WearStarWars2015

Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day: School Programming Ideas:

  • 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.
  • 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 chose — 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.
  • 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.
  • Read the new chapter book Jazzy’s Quest: Adopted and Amazing with your class and discuss themes of anti-bullying, adoption, and identity. Katie Goldman helped write Jazzy’s Quest!

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Check out Carrie’s award-winning book Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear (Harper Collins, 2012).  

Follow Carrie Goldman on Twitter and Portrait of an Adoption on Facebook

Looking for an awesome children’s adoption book? Check out new release Jazzy’s Quest: Adopted and Amazing!

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Katie in armor 2012

Katie in armor 2012

Layla SW jams

Layla SW jams

Allison in armor 2014

Allison in armor 2014

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