Chicago Charter School Stories

This small collection of digital stories was produced in a service-learning partnership between a course at DePaul University and Chicago International Charter School. Parents and teachers from Chicago-area charter schools created stories that described their personal reasons for attending and teaching in a charter school.

Stories URL: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL65EFF94A4BD7ABE9
Organization or Project Description: Chicago International Charter School Home
First Stories Posted: 2012
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You Can Go

You Can Go is a collection of video narratives told by students who overcame financial obstacles that can keep students from attending college. The stories are featured prominently on the You Can Go website, a campaign that resulted from a partnership between the College Board and The Education Conservancy. Each video is broken into shorter snippets, and the highlights of each student’s story is summarized in text. Site visitors can sort the stories by key obstacles to college access, including cost and grades. The College Board later incorporated some of these stories into their College Board’s Big Future campaign.

Stories URL: http://youcango.collegeboard.org/stories
Organization or Project Description: NY Times Article about the Project
First Stories Posted: 2011
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Real Learning for Real Life

Common Core Illinois, an awareness campaign deployed by a coalition of education organizations in Illinois, hosts this small set of stories under a “Real Stories” tab on its website. Each story features a parent, a student, a teacher, a principal, or a graduate of an Illinois school, giving their personal take on some of the talking points about the Common Core standards. The stories are short video interviews, in which the speaker’s reflection on education, standards, and the transition to the Common Core are synthesized into memorable ‘takeaways,’ such as “The Common Core Standards will promote deeper understanding,” and “Parents and teachers are partners in our children’s education.”

Stories URL: http://commoncoreil.org/real-stories/
Organization or Project Description: Common Core IL Home
First Stories Posted: 2012
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Achievement First

Achievement First, a network of public charter schools, maintains a “Profiles” area in the About Us section of its website, which contains primarily written profiles, separated by category (Teachers and Leaders, Students, Parents, Alumni, Network Support, Operations, and Diversity and Inclusion). Each category contains a small set of profiles; these profiles are typically stories of how the person profiled came to be part of Achievement First. In addition to the biographical profiles, all people within each category are asked two common questions. Parents, for example, are asked to describe their favorite aspect of Achievement First and their proudest moment at Achievement First. There are also a few videos sprinkled among these profiles, which are from the organization’s video collection.

Stories URL: http://www.achievementfirst.org/about-us/profiles/teachers-leaders/#
Organization or Project Description: About the Organization
First Stories Posted: 2014
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Communities in Schools

Communities in Schools is a national education nonprofit, and they have an impressive collection of “success stories.” Most are written profiles, but several have been turned into videos and are prominently featured on the organization’s web site. There are stories of both students and site coordinators, and the collection has quite a few stories, which have tags and categories assigned to them, so that visitors can search the site by stories about particular categories of people, locations, and/or certain services provided by Communities in Schools. The stories are also interesting examples of the integration of personal stories with more quantitative data, as each has a location-specific data point attached to it.

Stories URL: http://www.communitiesinschools.org/our-results/success-stories/
Organization or Project Description: Communities in Schools Home Page
First Stories Posted: 2010
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Bucknell Stories

Bucknell University has done sophisticated work with personal stories for some time; it won a 2010 Webby Award for its virtual tour, which led prospective students through an online tour of the university and its people, guided by the particular student’s interests. In 2014, the university revamped its website to include substantial collections of personal experience narratives from students, faculty, and alumni. While the story collection isn’t searchable, each student story is accompanied by links to the student’s department(s) and interests at Bucknell, allowing prospective students and other audiences to access a lot of information about the university through the interests of its students.

Stories URL: http://www.bucknell.edu/profiles.html
Organization or Project Description: Project developer's case study
First Stories Posted: 2014
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Streetside Stories

Streetside Stories is an arts organization from the Bay Area of California, which works with K-8 students in in-school and after-school settings, helping students to tell and share life stories and engage with the arts. This small collection of stories—a mix of digital stories and written testimonials—are samples of student work that appear on the organization’s website.

Stories URL: http://www.streetside.org/stories/index.htm
Organization or Project Description: About Streetside Stories
First Stories Posted: 2007
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Oberlin Stories

Oberlin College aspired to gather 1000 personal stories from its students, alumni, faculty, and staff members, to “collectively explain the merits and strengths of Oberlin in a very honest and organic way.” The stories are written personal narratives with a personal photograph, and are written and submitted their authors, and the collection is searchable by primary topic. The project also uses a lovely matrix grid of photographs as an entry into the collection.

Stories URL: http://stories.oberlin.edu/
Organization or Project Description: Project Description on the "Contribute Your Story" page
First Stories Posted: 2008
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BELL Success Stories

BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) provides out-of-school enrichment opportunities for children in grades K-8. This small collection of success stories profiles students who’ve benefited from Bell’s after school and summer programs, through written stories illustrated with one or a few photographs of each child.

Stories URL: http://www.experiencebell.org/our-results/success-stories
Organization or Project Description: About BELL
First Stories Posted: 2013
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I’m First

I’m First is an online community where first-generation college students and aspiring first-generation students can share testimonials that offer advice for other first-generation students. The collection contains everything from user-submitted webcam videos to a professionally produced video of Michelle Obama sharing her advice. The site is also an online community, with a blog and links to information about colleges that support first-generation students.

Stories URL: http://www.imfirst.org/
Organization or Project Description: About the Sponsoring Organization
First Stories Posted: 2013
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