When I was a teacher, I had that quote on my wall. I don't remember where I first saw it, but I discussed it on the first day of class each year. When I turned away, the kids would laugh about who the "dull" crayons were and, always, one of the more extroverted girls would claim they were the "pretty" crayon.
I gave them a minute to get that silliness out of their systems and then re-read the quote to them. I explained that no matter which kind of crayon they were, the bright yellow crayon that was always a good friend, or the black crayon that liked to wear dark clothes and had lots of piercings, the red crayon that stood out among the crowd, or that particular shade of green called "mountain meadow" that was free of worries and didn't care what their peers thought, we all had to live and work together in the same box - my classroom.
I also had this sign posted in my classroom. It got a lot of snickers as the kids tried to figure out what it meant. We lived in a very small town (approximate population 3,000) but still had a significant minority population in our school due to busing and local migrant farming. It was important to me, while my students were still in middle school, to make it clear that they should be friends with someone because of who that person is, not the color of their skin.
Did I change my student's world view? Did I suddenly flip switches in their brain and reprogram them to accept all of their peers? Probably not. But my students saw these two posters in the front of my room everyday and you can't read anything that often without a bit of it sinking in.
Submitted to Scribbit's September Write-Away contest.