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Nametags™ Educational Program

Nametags™ – an assembly program that empowers students to live more productive and motivated lives.  

No matter who we are, we face challenges and adversity throughout our lives. Nametags, created by Chris Waddell and resilience educator Donna M. Volpitta, Ed.D., centers on the message “It’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do with what happens to you.” The focus of the program is not on disability, but rather the universal experience of challenge and the power of resilience. By establishing a community and presenting methods to effectively cope with trials, Nametags provides the encouragement to live more motivated, mindful lives.

Our stories of resilience and personal achievement transcend what others believe they can accomplish given the presenter’s disability. The Nametags Educational Program encourages students to challenge the assumptions and limitations that result from the labels or Nametags we assign others and ourselves and modify them in an empowering way.

The Program

The Nametags Educational Program is a forty-minute (forty-five minutes to an hour with questions) assembly designed for adults and students in kindergarten and above. In this compelling interactive program, our speakers connect with the audience by sharing their personal story of triumph through adversity and teach individuals that they possess the power to decide how they are perceived and the Nametags they choose to wear. In the face of adversity, individuals can choose resilience and Nametags ultimately educates individuals on their collective responsibility to create a community that allows them to thrive, living productive and motivated lives.

Program Goals

  • Provide individuals with the tools to boost resilience: The 4 S’s of Resilience:
  • Self: Victim or Survivor
  • Situation: Overwhelming or a challenge
  • Support: Alone or part of a team
  • Strategies: One or many
  • Empower students to build communities that promote acceptance when opportunities arise and risks are taken

How Nametags Impacts your Students

The Nametags™ Educational Program teaches valuable skills and promotes critical thought, self-reflection and acceptance that are beneficial for individuals of all ages. Ideal events for our Nametags speakers range from small targeted groups to larger assembly formats and include:

3rd Grade to 5th Grade

Jock, cheerleader, geek, thespian, skater, dork, punk, and weirdo are just some of the labels student begin to use when talking about themselves and others during this period of self-identification. The Nametags student assembly program will engage students in a discussion about the labels or Nametags we put on others and ourselves and decipher whether or not they appropriately suit us. Without focusing on physical disabilities or any disparities, the presentation shifts perspectives so that we choose to see differences as indicators of potential genius as opposed to reasons to separate ourselves from others. The inspirational presenters will keep the students inspired, test their mindset and challenge them not to fit into that perfect box.

6th Grade and Above:

Our presentation will impose our 4 S’s of Resilience and challenge your students to look beyond the difficult events and struggles in their lives, teaching them to focus on the fact that as humans we all face challenges but our power lies in how we choose to react to them. They will be pushed to acknowledge our universal struggles and recognize that while everyone struggles with something, how you look beyond this as an individual and come together as a collective community is the most important part. In doing so, they will learn about resiliency and begin to identify themselves no longer as victims, but as survivors, and define their situation as a challenge rather than overwhelming or tragic. This will lead to better communication amongst peer groups, build support communities where bullying is not tolerated and create stronger character leaders. Our speakers will establish a roadmap for your students, and provide practical strategies and scripts for handling difficult situations. In addition, the program will push your students to challenge the assumptions and limitations that result from labels we give ourselves and to others.

After school programs

Program Addresses: Self-Identification, Goal Setting, Personal Leadership, Strategy, Purpose, Character Building, Confidence, Mindfulness, Resilience, Diversity, Inclusive Communities, Anti-Bullying, Resilience

Disability organizations

Program Addresses: Self-Identification, Resilience, Overcoming the Perception of Disability, Altering the Perception of Disability, Creating a New Mindset, Storytelling, Resilience, Inspiration, Living fully (also see Storytelling Clinics)

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