My Special Word, a Gahanna-based nonprofit with the intent of inspiring youth through words, has an eye on a record-setting goal of involving 4,000 children in a virtual conversation next week.
On Oct. 24, My Special Word is inviting schools and youth organizations who work with children between the ages of 6 and 11 to be a part of a conversation about their “special word.” The goal is to create the organization’s largest conversation on empowerment.
Doyline Williams, the organization’s executive director, said the vision that drives My Special Word is to consider how a single, positive word could change a child’s life.
“Our goal is to help kids discover their special word – a positive word that defines who they are or who they aspire to be,” Williams said. “A kid’s special word serves as their beacon to think positive, speak positive and act in a positive way. Making sure kids have a ‘special word’ is our way of helping kids say yes to empathy, kindness, confidence and achievement.”
The group can provide chapter books, picture books, bookmarks and wristbands as part of activities that encourage youth to have a positive attitude and self-esteem.
Those who are interested in the virtual conversation should register online at myspecialword.com/events.
After registering, My Special Word will send information to conversation partners, and they will complete a “tech test” to ensure sound, video and internet connections are ready to facilitate the conversation.
Williams said anyone who wants to participate should sign up as soon as possible.
She said children who join the Oct. 24 conversation will identify and commit to live out their special word; learn about the importance and power of words, especially positive words; connect with children outside their usual peer group; and gain meaningful connections and positive perceptions.
Because October is National Bullying Prevention Month, Williams said, My Special Word is uniting with communities by raising awareness of positive words’ power to reduce and prevent bullying.
Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland said he supports My Special Word’s efforts to bring positive messaging to not only local school children but also to children around the world.
“When we encourage children to define and believe in themselves, it not only benefits them but also benefits our community as a whole,” he said. “When kids own and live out their special word, it creates a future generation of kind, inclusive and accepting community residents and world leaders.”
Williams said she has chosen a special word – curious.
“Curious defines who I am because each day, I focus on living life to its fullest,” she said. “And to do that, a curious mindset is necessary ... to be open to new and different experiences, making new friends each day from all walks of like, cultures, races, ages and to learn and taste new things.”
Founded in 2016, My Special Word has served more than 14,000 children in six countries, according to Williams.