We wish Eleanor Estes a happy birthday on May 9. Best known for her 1944 novel The Hundred Dresses, this story evokes major themes of bullying. In her novel, Wanda Petronski is different from the rest of the children in her class. She is poor and friendless, and is seated in the worse seat in the classroom. Constantly teased and mocked by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day, Wanda claims to own 100 dresses. This obvious lie causes her peers to mock her even more, resulting in her father's decision to move her to a different school. Before she leaves, she enters a drawing contest where she designs 100 different dresses. She moves away before realizing she has won the contest and the respect of her classmates.
Eleanor Estes' emotional novel teaches us the importance of anti-bullying and not judging a book by its cover. We honor this concept by exploring some exercises to promote acceptance and tolerance. Learn about the importance of communication, including the different forms it comes in. Get tips to help build good communication skills. Then, explore the different kinds of non-verbal communication and complete a team building exercise without the use of words.