| Sep 26, 2011
StoryCorps, the national non-profit oral history project, launched the National Teachers Initiative on Monday, September 19, 2011. The Initiative celebrates the brilliant and courageous work of public school teachers across the country. By recording, sharing, and preserving their stories, StoryCorps hopes to call public attention to the invaluable contributions teachers have made to this nation, honor those who have embraced the profession as their calling, encourage teaching as a career choice, and unify the country behind its teachers—helping all recognize that there is no more important or noble work than that of educating the nation’s children.
The National Teachers Initiative will partner with local education and community organizations and public school districts across the country to record stories, placing special attention on the work of teachers striving to increase the number of students who graduate prepared for college and careers. StoryCorps will visit cities throughout the country during the 2011-2012 school year to record stories honoring at least 625 teachers. These cities include: Zanesville, Ohio; Portland, Oregon; New York City; Orlando, Florida; Fort Riley, Kansas; Mobile, Alabama; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Baltimore, MD; McComb, Mississippi; and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Major funding for the National Teachers Initiative is provided by the Corporation of Public Broadcasting and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with additional funding provided by The Joyce Foundation. The National Teachers Initiative is part of American Graduate, a public media initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help local communities across America address the dropout crisis.
The mission of StoryCorps is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of their lives. They accomplish this by recording high-quality interviews between friends or family, in which one person interviews the other. A trained Facilitator guides the interview, if necessary, and handles all the technical aspects of the recording.
StoryCorps travels across the country and has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. It is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. StoryCorps currently has four major initiatives: StoryCorps Historias collects the stories of Latinos throughout the United States and Puerto Rico; StoryCorps Griot preserves the voices and experiences of African Americans; the Memory Loss Initiative reaches out to people affected by memory loss disorders and their families; the September 11th Initiative honors and remembers the stories of survivors, rescue workers, and others most personally affected by the events of September 11, 2001.
The first StoryBooth opened on October 23, 2003, in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. In May 2008 the new flagship StoryBooth opened in Lower Manhattan’s Foley Square. StoryCorps currently operates StoryBooths in New York City, San Francisco, and Atlanta. Two StoryCorps MobileBooths travel across the country, partnering with local public radio stations in various cities for one month at a time. StoryCorps’ first two MobileBooths hit the road May 19, 2005. StoryCorps also provides a Door-to-Door service where trained Facilitators travel with recording equipment to collect stories on-site. More information can be found at Bring StoryCorps to Your Community. StoryCorps participants receive a broadcast-quality copy of their interview on CD at the end of their session. The suggested donation for an hour-long StoryBooth session is $25 ensuring access to everyone. StoryCorps fundraises throughout the year to help cover costs of recording, archiving, and preserving each interview.
With the permission of the participants, edited stories from each booth are broadcast on a partner public radio station. One story is broadcast nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition every Friday morning. Recorded interviews are added to the StoryCorps Archive, housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
StoryCorps launched the first National Day of Listening
in 2008 to encourage all Americans to record an interview with a loved one on the day after Thanksgiving using equipment that is readily available in most homes—from cell phones to tape recorders to computers or even pen and paper. This year’s National Day of Listening is November 25, 2011. Visit http://storycorps.org
for more information.