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Kindness Takes Courage

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Auggie, Wonder, Pete's Diary, Kindness Curriculum

What if every student felt comfortable with who they are?

In our Real-Life Wonder School Assembly, Peter shows students how he lives confidently with a facial difference. He talks about his hearing aid, prosthetic ear, and surgeries in a fun and educational format that puts kids at ease. He explains how he keeps a positive perspective, and he encourages them to embrace what makes them different. Peter also tells students why diverse friendships are important.

Students who meet Peter after reading Wonder transfer what they've learned from the fictional story to real life. We show them how to apply lessons about empathy and kindness from the book into their own daily life.

This assembly brings Wonder to life and teaches students that they play an important role in making their school inclusive and a safe place for everyone to learn.


Dede & Peter Dankelson are a mother/son team who teach social-emotional learning. Peter is 19 and was born with a craniofacial syndrome, so he's had a lot of experience feeling different! Peter shows students how he's embraced life with a facial difference, and he challenges them to reflect on their own life story.

Dede & Peter have been working with schools since 2013, encouraging kindness and inclusion. They've connected with over 40,000 students using storytelling, humor, and real-life experience. Pete's Diary teaches meaningful lessons that last a lifetime.

The Aspen Institute, SEL Facts


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