My Story Mat­ters is just get­ting started

Serve Daily - - THE FUNNYISH FILES - By Amy Chan­dler for Serve Daily

My Story Mat­ters is ded­i­cated to seek­ing out and shar­ing sto­ries of the he­roes around us. In our short six years, we’ve told 2,000 sto­ries and we’re just get­ting started! My Story Mat­ters has served chil­dren in refugee com­mu­ni­ties, dis­a­bil­ity cen­ters, hos­pi­tals, home­less shel­ters, schools and more. We can’t wait to con­tinue to ex­pand and fur­ther our reach for many years to come.

We are de­vel­op­ing a cur­ricu­lum to meet the de­mand for more chil­dren to be im­pacted. As teach­ers use this cur­ricu­lum they will be able to help their stu­dents catch the vi­sion and em­pow­er­ment of the power of story. We re­cently held a cur­ricu­lum day in Utah County with teach­ers and ad­min­is­tra­tors to dis­cuss the ob­jec­tives of this model. By equip­ping stu­dents with tools to dis­cover their own sto­ries and the power gained in telling and shar­ing them, stu­dents will be bet­ter pre­pared to face the chal­lenges and vic­to­ries of life. The im­pact this would bring to schools could be global, and would help stu­dents de­velop strong self-ef­fi­cacy at­tributes.

Chris Cran­dall a first grade teacher from Northridge Ele­men­tary in Orem, UT was able to par­tic­i­pate in our cur­ricu­lum day. Cran­dall said, “Amy and the team at ‘My Story Mat­ters’ have done an in­cred­i­ble job of help­ing kids and teenagers pre­serve and share their spe­cial story. The fact is, all sto­ries mat­ter, so the next step is to put this op­por­tu­nity into the schools, where ev­ery child can cre­ate, edit, record and even share his or her own life story. It val­i­dates who they are, what they’ve been through and that they mat­ter.

“Re­ceiv­ing a pub­lished book is def­i­nitely cel­e­brated, but there is also great power and value in the process. At all ages, kids are go­ing to mo­ti­vated to en­gage in deeper think­ing, col­lab­o­ra­tion, and evolve as writ­ers, as they de­velop and doc­u­ment their story. It’s a stan­dard that’s al­ready in the cur­ricu­lum – to write a per­sonal nar­ra­tive or a nar­ra­tive us­ing real events – and 'My Story Mat­ters' with the 'My Hero Jour­ney' re­sources gives ed­u­ca­tors and stu­dents a pow­er­ful and mean­ing­ful way to do that.”

We are grate­ful for all the ed­u­ca­tors who are help­ing us cre­ate this pro­gram.

Cran­dall also shares, “Like you and many oth­ers, I too am greatly con­cerned about the in­crease and im­pact of bul­ly­ing and sui­cides that are tak­ing place in our schools and in our com­mu­ni­ties. I have no doubt that at stu­dents go through this process of writ­ing their story with ‘My Hero Jour­ney’, bridges will be built, lives will be val­i­dated and be­come even more mean­ing­ful, and dif­fer­ences will be­come em­pow­er­ing. There is great power in writ­ing your life story. It means you mat­ter."

The ben­e­fit the stu­dents would re­ceive from a My Story Mat­ters cur­ricu­lum would have the po­ten­tial to be life-chang­ing and we’re so ex­cited to watch it un­fold.

A Par­tic­i­pant in the May Story Mat­ters workshop.

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