Monday, August 10, 2015

Teachers: Share Wonder with your Students!

It’s back-to-school time, and CCA wants to help teachers kick off the year in a fun and positive way.  Wonder by R.J. Palacio teaches students to #ChooseKind while also meeting national core curriculum standards for 5th grade literature.  Because the book is enjoyable for nearly all ages, many schools and communities have chosen Wonder as an all-school or all-community read.  The story is filled with relatable characters that combine into a powerful message about one boy’s first year at a new school.  The boy, Auggie, has a facial difference and, as you would expect, encounters several trials throughout the school year.

Through Wonder, craniofacial families now have a mainstream platform that encourages acceptance toward those who look different.  We’ve developed materials to assist teachers and to help us achieve our goal of having Wonder in every school around the country.  Free posters, reduced rates on classroom sets of books, a Reader’s Theater script, and the opportunity to connect with a Real-Life Auggie are just a few of the things CCA offers.  Browse the links below to help your own classroom join the #ChooseKind movement this school year.
  • Visit to request a free “Educator Packet” that includes classroom posters, CCA’s newsletter, and information about how to connect with a Real-Life Auggie and participate in CCA’s #ChooseKind Challenge.
  • Order Wonder Gear at  There are several low-cost items like bookmarks and #ChooseKind bands that can be ordered in classroom sets.  CCA also has t-shirts and special-edition copies of Wonder for $10 or less.  Purchasing any of these items recognizes your students for accepting CCA’s #ChooseKind Challenge.
  • Request help purchasing books.  CCA offers reduced rates on classroom sets of 30.  We also have an ability-to-pay form that can be submitted by following this link
  • Find out how other teacher’s use Wonder in their classrooms and share your own ideas.  Check out this link to connect with the educators that started #WONDERschools on Twitter.  This group shared and collaborated on Wonder-related activities with their classrooms.  We invite you to share your own curriculum ideas with CCA by emailing them to [email protected].  CCA is adding a curriculum page to our website, and we are looking for your contributions!
  • Contact CCA’s Program Director, Annie Reeves ([email protected]), to have your classroom connect with a Real-Life Auggie.  The CCA office has a network of volunteers all over the country that will visit or Skype with your students.  My own son, Peter, and I enjoy meeting with a class or school after they read the book.  We’ve developed a presentation that relates events from Wonder to real-life events encountered by craniofacial families.  Visit to request a visit or Skype with Peter!
  • Stage a Reader’s Theater of scenes from the book!  CCA offers a free Wonder Reader’s Theater script that includes more than ten scenes from the book.  Students love to step into the roles of their favorite characters and share their enthusiasm for the story.  Contact [email protected] to request a PDF copy of the script.

Wonder is about a boy who looks different, but the message applies to everyone; we are all, in fact, different!  We all have the power to CHOOSE kindness every day.  We make an impact on everyone we encounter throughout a day, even if it’s a quick smile or smirk in the hallway.  It’s a simple choice with powerful consequences.  Wonder wraps this message in a story that makes it “Cool to be Kind.”  What a fantastic way to kick off the new school year!

Choosing kind,


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