About The Book

“Crash! Swings swinging, rain pouring, monkeybars twirling! And just like that, a huge lightning bolt thundered down on the oldest tree standing next to the Lincoln Elementary School playground. The school that once won first place in Dream School District for top playgrounds was now playground-less.” On Monday, after the storm, students returned as usual, early in the morning. Rushing through the halls to get to class on time, Stan felt that something seemed different today. Join Stan as he discovers his own fantastic powers, to find strength and courage to bring people together to dream and design the school playground’s future.

Stan and The Four Fantastic Powers is the first Appreciative Inquiry children’s book. In this book readers will follow Stan on an adventure focused on strengths, imagination, teamwork, and goal setting. This book presents readers with the possibility of becoming catalysts for positive change. Stan, the book’s main character, engages young readers in an adventure to discover their own strengths and passions by watching him dream and design a community project, along with his classmates and community.

Appreciative Inquiry encourages the use of questioning, collaboration, curiosity, and creativity, using a cycle represented through Stan’s Four Fantastic Powers: ME Power: discovering strengths, SEE Power: dreaming future possibilities, WE Power: working as a team to develop a goals and a plan, and DO Power: delivering the plan. For the past 15 years Appreciative Inquiry has been used in schools resulting in increased creativity, self-esteem, confidence, sense of identity, hope, relationships, social skills, community connectedness, and a sense of involvement in the future. Join Stan, Mr. Gladstone’s class, and the Lincoln School community, as they embark on their adventure!

Meet Our Intergenerational Team

Shira Levy Headshot_1Shira Reicher Levy, NCSP, MAPP

Shira is a school psychologist and positive psychology practitioner. For the past decade, Shira has worked as an urban school psychologist across primary and secondary levels, helping students find and use their strengths to boost wellbeing and achievement. She earned her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from The University of Pennsylvania and over the past three years, she has taken an interest in the use of Appreciative Inquiry in schools. Outside of the school setting, Shira also helps adults through her organization, Baltimore Thrives, where she works as a wellbeing coach and consultant, offering affordable workshops and professional development to create a flourishing community. Shira is enjoying life in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, Ryan, son Maxwell, cat Sophie, and dog Annie.

image002Marge Schiller, Ph.D.

Marge is an organizational consultant, business coach, teacher, and writer with international experience. She is the founder of the Positive Change Corps an the author/editor of “Appreciative Leaders: In the Eye of the Beholder.” She lives in Hingham, MA and Hillsboro Beach, FL USA. Marge has taught and/or supervised Doctoral candidates at the Kennedy School of Government Harvard University, Boston University, Tilburg university, Leyden University, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her current passion is intergenerational conversations for sustainable organizations, schools and communities.

Sarah Schiller

Sarah is thirteen years-old.  She attends to Wellesley Middle School in Massachusetts and plays cello in the school orchestra and sings in the school chorus. Sarah loves to read and write.

Max Schiller

Max is thirteen years-old.  He goes to Wellesley Middle School.  Max  plays the trumpet in the middle school band and enjoys rock climbing, geography, and video games!

image002Stefanie Rudolph, Illustrator

Stefanie is also a Baltimore, Maryland native. Her preferred media is colored pencil and pen, but includes Acrylic and oil paint, oil pastel, decoupage, wire art. Mainly self-taught since she could pick up a crayon, she studied at the Creative Arts Program at West Virginia University. Her work has been displayed at the 2005 Blooming Arts Festival, and at a standing solo gallery, “As Eye See It” at Bmore Yoga, Baltimore, MD.  She displayed solo for 2 months at the Atwaters restaurant in Towson, Maryland. Stefanie’s art has been sold up and down the east coast, in addition to her creative advertisements and murals made for children’s spaces and commercial businesses. She currently resides in Baltimore, working on personal projects.