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EDUCATION INITIATIVE 2010

Virtue Foundation Digital Storytelling Initiative

This initiative creates and deploys a digital storytelling curriculum focused on philanthropy, community service, and civic responsibility.  The VF Digital Storytelling Initiative is designed to take advantage of our boundless digital world and to encourage young people to connect around meaningful topics in a personal way.   Children are given the opportunity to engage with 21st century technology to tell their own stories of community service and the impact of giving back.
 
The project serves three very important goals:

  • Providing technology and technology-based education to underserved students in a meaningful and engaging manner;
  • Empowering children to tell their own stories and share those stories in an impactful way; and
  • Highlighting the value of community service and the positive impact of philanthropy and personal engagement.

The project provides schools and other educational venues in underserved areas with technology, digital story-telling workshops, and professional training.

History

This project was born in 2005 post-Katrina in the trailer parks of Louisiana where Virtue Foundation worked to provide children affected by the storms with a 21st Century technology-based education. With the help of Apple and Microsoft, the project expanded to nine competitively selected pilot schools in severely affected parishes with the assistance of the Louisiana Board of Education.  Based on the success of these pilot sites, the Governor of Louisiana enacted legislation to scale this program to all 6th graders across the state.

In addition to professional training workshops for teachers of hurricane affected schools in Louisiana in collaboration with the University of New Orleans and other universities, Virtue Foundation began spearheading digital storytelling projects that seek to teach technology skills while enabling young people to tell their own stories about their communities and the value of giving back.

Partnership with Justice O'Connor's iCivics

In November 2010 the Virtue Foundation partnered with i-Civics to create the Virtue Foundation/iCivics Digital Storytelling Initiative.  Using classroom curriculum, online games, and digital storytelling, this initiative gives students the opportunity to tell their stories of community service, citizenship, and the positive impact they are making in their own communities. 

"I founded iCivics to inspire the next generation to become active and effective civic participants," said Justice O'Connor.  "The Virtue Foundation/iCivics Digital Storytelling Initiative will provide access to technology, teach citizenship, and help students across the country engage in their communities."

"This initiative builds upon Virtue's past project successes toward providing a learning environment in which students are acquiring essential skills, engaging in community service, and feeling empowered to make a difference," said Dr. Salim.  "Giving classrooms access to cutting-edge technology while encouraging children to tell their own stories of community service advances not only individual students' education, but has the potential to transform entire communities."



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