r By Amy Chandler
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 andrempowerment 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.