Contact: Kristy Lysik
NEW YORK, NY, February 18, 2021 – myFace today announced the launch of the educational initiative THE WONDER PROJECT taking place February – May 2021. The program is inspired by R.J. Palacio’s worldwide bestselling children’s novel, Wonder, which tells the heartwarming story of Auggie Pullman, a boy born with facial differences who can’t blend in because he was born to stand out.
With statistics that show 1 in 4 kids in the U.S. say they’ve been regularly bullied at school, the need to promote empathy and kindness, and teach acceptance is more important than ever. Imagine a child entering school with a facial difference; they not only have to deal with the physical effects of their condition, but the challenging emotional impact as well, which can result in feelings of isolation,
discrimination, and low self-esteem.
THE WONDER PROJECT was designed for students to connect to the powerful feeling that comes from choosing to be kind. It moves students towards creating positive change in the world and to celebrate the uniqueness of others. Serving as a resource for educators, the distributed materials will embrace themes of empathy, group discussions and class unity activities. Eligible teachers may visit myface.org/wonder to register their classrooms.
“You managed to get the children thinking and talking in a deeper and much more meaningful way than was possible after only having read Wonder. We had to cancel our next class – the kids were so engaged! We all look forward to working with you again next year,” said a very encouraged 5th grade teacher.
“With students across the country reading Wonder, we were inspired to bring The Wonder Project to schools to teach about differences, kindness and being an upstander;” says Dina Zuckerberg, Director of Family Programs at myFace. “Through sharing my story of growing up with a facial difference and the inspirational stories of others, we bring to life Wonder’s central themes of acceptance and inclusion in real, meaningful, and teachable ways.”
Participating classrooms will be rewarded for their acts of kindness with program elements including:
- The Wonder Project School-Wide Assemblies: myFace joins students virtually to share real-life stories of those with facial differences, encouraging students to always choose to be kind.
- The Upstander pledge: Students sign a pledge card agreeing to speak up for others – to be an upstander, not a bystander.
- The Kindness Challenge: Students identify acts of kindness to launch throughout their own school and communities.
- Gather Donations: Friends and family support students’ commitment to kindness by donating to myFace.
THE WONDER PROJECT will raise critical funds to provide craniofacial patients and families access to holistic comprehensive care and support they need and deserve. Funds raised by students will help give patients the gift of confidence and hope for a brighter tomorrow while enabling them to lead full and productive lives.
We are grateful to our generous sponsors, Neolastin, an innovative skincare brand, and Creative Planning, a wealth management firm, who have partnered with myFace to bring this program to life and support the success of our mission. We want to especially thank R.J. Palacio, for not only providing the world with this invaluable book, but for kickstarting the support of The Wonder Project through the proceeds she donated from her Author’s Village reading in December 2020.
For 70 years, myFace has advocated for individuals and families to ensure them access to comprehensive craniofacial care and support. By providing important services, such as emotional support groups, educational webinars, and online resources, myFace helps individuals achieve their potential to live their best life possible.