Congratulations to NYC’s PS 219—Winner of the 2010 Imagination Award

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We are delighted to announce the winner of the 2010 LCI Imagination Award, PS 219, the Kennedy-King Elementary School in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. The celebration, and the giving of the $5000 award, took place at the school on the morning of June 23rd as part of the 5th-grade graduation ceremony. In his speech, Lincoln Center Institute’s Executive Director, Scott Noppe-Brandon, praised the school for using principles of teaching that align with LCI’s Capacities for Imaginative Learning, which emphasize students’ ability to—among other qualities—connect study to their lives, whether that study is about math or the issue of homelessness or yesterday’s historic figures. He described how moved the Award board was by PS 219’s application materials, which likened a classroom to a jigsaw puzzle: each child a unique piece with a different size, shape, and pattern, yet all necessary to make the whole picture. “The larger jigsaw puzzle is the world,” Noppe-Brandon said, “where all come together to create the complete picture, and you are all citizens of this country, of the traditions that your parents came from, and of the world.”

You can find an in-depth article about the award and PS 219 in Brooklyn’s Canarsie Courier, and check out the photo album on Facebook. Curious about the Imagination Award? Check out the selection criteria.

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Sea of Dreams

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Image by SSgt. Dennis J. Henry Jr. (USAF)

“I’m a guy that’s in love with ‘What if.’” No, that quote didn’t come from me or from Eric Liu, with whom I wrote Imagination First, although we do argue in the book that the words “what if” are “the key to successfully performing the experiment called being human” (33). The hopeful and open-minded sentence was spoken by Oscar-winner Kevin Costner on June 9 as he testified before the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee about devices that his company, Ocean Therapy Solutions, has developed for cleaning up oil spills. According to the firm’s Web site, Costner has been investing in related research for the past 15 years; the Daily News reports that the actor told Congress he has spent over $20 million along the way. A Hollywood screen star devoting time and funds to a personal project aimed at solving one of our most dire environmental problems? Irrepressible imagination is clearly at work here. Costner’s imaginative vision may soon become a high-profile reality when BP, which the Daily News says has bought 32 of Ocean Therapy Solutions’ machines, tests them out before possibly using them in the Gulf of Mexico. To watch Costner’s recent testimony, click on this link.

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