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Guest Post: Wonderopolis Opens Doors

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Throughout February, NCFL and our supporters have celebrated inquiry and wonder by joining the first #WonderFunder campaign. In this guest post, Wonderopolis Lead Ambassador Carol Varsalona shares how Wonderopolis nurtures curiosity and a spirit of lifelong learning.

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As a confirmed wonderer, I have always believed in the power of noticing and wondering to open my eyes to what is before me. Curiosity has led me throughout my life to journey onward seeking knowledge. Life has been a series of wonder-filled steps from pre-Kindergarten days to now.

Since my childhood days, I have lived in a non-digital world. Creativity was a crayon away as I learned decorative arts from my mother and grandmother. Reading and writing became my faithful companions. Not until I was teaching did the digital world open a festival of wonder before my eyes.

Now in my unretirement days, as a consultant and Wonder Lead Ambassador for Wonderopolis, I cross between non-digital and digital worlds to continue my journey as a wonderologist. With Wonderopolis’ Wonders of the Day, I can explore topics of interest and pass these on to teachers and children. I listen to their feedback and provide local and regional literacy groups with information on how and why to access Wonderopolis, “where the wonders of learning never cease.” I also speak about the Wonder Ground, an accompanying site for professionals to find resources, lessons, and blogs written by Wonder Lead Ambassadors. In addition, I present at national conferences on inquiry-based learning and the wonders of Wonderopolis which is not just a school year opportunity.

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Online, each summer there is Wonderopolis’ fabulous Camp Wonderopolis, a camp experience that provides “interactive STEM and literacy-building topics boosted by Maker experiments” for all students.

All of these components that make up a wonder-filled wonder journey are online manned by Wonderopolis. The very best news is that these are all totally FREE.

To validate the wonder of the wonder experience for children, Amy Wallace, a connected educator friend of mine, sent me the following tweet.

Affirmation of Wonderopolis' Wonder

Have I provided you with enough information to interest you in discovering your own wonder journey with Wonderopolis? Check out this short video, Ready, Set, Wonderopolis!, to pique your interest further and then show your children and students the wonders of curiosity-powered learning.

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Since 2010, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) has provided Wonderopolis as a:

Valuable resource for educators and students of all ages around the world, accruing such accolades and awards as TIME Magazine’s “50 Best Websites” and the American Association of School Librarians’ Best Website for Teaching and Learning.

Consider becoming a Wonder Funder during the February campaign to make a difference in the lives of children, families, and teachers that use Wonderopolis as a go-to site for continual wonder. Will You Be a #WonderFunder? video will encourage you to keep wondering free by donating a small amount to Wonderopolis.

Wonder Funder

Journey with me to keep on wondering. I blog at Beyond LiteracyLink and at the Wonderopolis Wonder Ground. On April 3, 2017, I will moderate a joint chat on Poetry and Wonder for #NYEDChat and #WonderChat. Kwame Alexander will be our guest host. Also, visit my Reflective Galleries of Artistic Expressions that are open for adults and students around the world who notice and wonder about the beauty found in our natural world. You can peruse the latest example of my galleries, Autumnventure, here. I am currently accepting offerings for my Winter Wonder 17 Gallery.

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