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Quotes and Readings

Part of the Virtual Crew Collection

In planning and facilitating virtual crew, the goal is to nurture the sense of belonging, purpose, and agency that students need during this time by making space for them to

  • process their emotions
  • connect with, care for, and find moments of joy and fun with each other
  • learn, talk, and think critically about the times that we’re in
  • advocate and develop skills for themselves and others as virtual learners
  • take actions, however big or small, to better themselves, families, and community.

Quotes and readings can serve any of these purposes, but are often especially good for connecting with each other and talking about the times we're in.

And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.—Haruki Murakami

Courage is tiny pieces of fear all glued together.—Terri Guillemets

"One of the things COVID-19 forces us to reckon with is our own vulnerability, and the ways in which our individualistic, bootstrapping culture denies our reality as an interconnected and often disabled body of people who are worth all the more (and certainly more than the stock market) because of our frailties. Most of us are healthy until, suddenly and inevitably, we're not.” — Annalee Johnson Kwochka

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it. —Lena Horne

Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.—Brene Brown

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”—Mary Anne Radmacher

Remember when you go into the world to keep your eyes and ears wide open. And be kind. Love one another. Take care of each other. Tell the truth. Always do your best. Listen to the big people and the little people. Explore new paths and have fun. Know that you are loved like crazy. Give thanks for all your blessings. Above all else, love and you will do wonderful things in this world.—Rebecca Puig

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.—Viktor E. Frankl

A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons.—Desmond Tutu

Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.—James Baldwin

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

From The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams Bianco

Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.—Thurgood Marshall

Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say “We have done this ourselves.”—Lao Tzu

Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.—Sheryl Sandberg

Tune your body to the mountain, to the distance you have to go. Take a pace you can keep up all day. —Tap Tapley

Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.—Aubrey De Graf

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.—Betty Reese

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?—From “The Summer Day,” by Mary Oliver

We automatically give to each person we meet, but we choose what we give. Our words, our actions, must consciously set the stage for the life we wish to lead.—Marlo Morgan

***For more inspiring quotes and readings, we recommend purchasing EL Education’s book of readings, There Is More In Us Than We Know

"We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us, and make us kinder. We always have a choice." — Dalai Lama

Have an example to share? We are learning alongside you about what virtual crew can look like, and welcome your contributions. Use this form or email Sarah Norris at

And for treasure hunters out there, we are maintaining this public folder with everything we find. 


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