So often when friends hear about Storied Lives, they’ll say something like “Oh I wish someone would write about my grandmother/grandfather. He/she has such amazing stories!”
It’s true. For those of us lucky enough to get to know our grandparents, we know what rich history they have handed down through oral storytelling. In some cases, we may have been lucky enough to audio or videotape a few words.
I remember my grandfather telling us stories about coming to this country at age 6 without his parents. He had to learn to support himself from a young age and through hard work and determination, created a legendary menswear retail business in Baltimore, MD.
What a gift it would have been to have written down even one of his stories! He passed away when I was in high school, and I still miss him many years later. The stories sadly start to fade in one’s memory as the years go by.
So if you are able to start or participate in a formal Storied Lives program, jump at it. But even if that is not possible, start an informal one with a few friends and write stories about the elderly in your family, neighborhood, or religious organization. We’d love to hear about your efforts, recognize them, and put the stories on our site.
Or just take the time to write a story about that one important elderly person in your life, such as – yes you guessed it – your dear grandmother. Send your story or stories to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to post them on our site. Your grandparents will treasure the story, you’ll treasure the experience, and we’ll post the story where many more people can benefit from their wisdom and wit – written through your eyes and ears.
So you’ve looked around the Storied Lives website and you’re intrigued and maybe even a little excited. Perhaps you’re thinking “this is my kind of program” and now your next question is “how do I get this program in my high school? The answer is both simple and not so simple at the same time.
The simple answer is that you have the ability to bring the program to your school and we can provide you all of the information to make that happen.
The not so simple part is that you will need a little help. Remember that you need two things to make the program work: a group of students who want to do the program and a group of the elderly who you can visit, get to know, and write stories about.
For the first part, the students, you will need to get the support of at least one teacher at your school. Without a supportive teacher, it will be nearly impossible to promote the program in the school and get the students signed up. By finding a teacher who is willing to help you make it happen, you are well on your way to starting a Storied Lives program in your school.
The second part is finding the elderly who will participate. The best way to do that is to talk to any elderly care homes in your area. They are typically very interested in having bright, socially minded high-school students come and visit the elderly at their facility. It is great for the elderly and therefore great for the elderly care home. Your teacher can help you to locate and get the approval of an elderly home in your area.
Once you find a teacher and a willing elderly care home, you can start right away. For more information on starting a program, just email us at email@example.com. We’ll send you a “Getting Started” packet, plus answer any questions you have. We look forward to hearing from you!