We are excited to share about the Storytelling for Social Change Virtual exchange!
Through this 7-week virtual exchange, youth (ages 15-18) will connect with other young people in the U.S.A, Algeria and Tunisia.
Storytelling for Social Change is implemented by iEARN-USA and is supported by the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative (JCSVEI). JCSVEI is a U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program administered by the Aspen Institute.
J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative is an international effort to enhance global understanding by connecting young people through virtual exchange, giving them critical skills for prosperity and encouraging friendships along the way.
iEARN-USA’s Storytelling for Social Change will build global leaders by engaging youth (ages 15-18) in the United States, Middle East, and North Africa in global collaboration to examine real world issues in their local communities using storytelling techniques.
Taking the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as their inspiration and focus, youth will work collaboratively with international partners to explore the power of storytelling as they choose a local/global issue and examine their personal connections. The virtual exchange will culminate in a virtual festival to celebrate the participants’ stories and their impact. By working collaboratively with peers around the world, youth gain 21st Century Skills and develop Global Competencies as they learn with and about one another – skills that are critical to academic success and success in today’s workforce.
Through iEARN’s unique project model, youth develop a deeper understanding of global issues from different social and cultural perspectives, as they ultimately create a more peaceful and equitable society and become active global citizens.
Features of the Storytelling for Social Change Virtual Exchange include:
● In-person program orientation and training for educators/youth workers
● 7-week, facilitated virtual exchange for students including:
○ Virtual exchange orientation for youth
○ 1 hour video conference session, 1 morning every week
○ Weekly asynchronous exchange activities for youth
○ Closing festival to showcase youth projects
● Program evaluation and impact sharing
● Alumni opportunities for continued exchange
Each teacher, educator, and/or school leader will commit to following:
● Engage a minimum of 25 high school youth (ages 15-18) during Fall 2023 – 7 weeks (October-November)
● Dedicate a minimum of 2 hours of class time with students per week (1 hour synchronous, with international partners; 1 hour asynchronous with students in the classroom, supporting students to complete asynchronous exchange activities).
● Additional teacher commitment may include up to 1-2 hours per week
● Attend in-person orientation and teacher training (2 days) before each session (for teachers/adult leaders). The teacher training is funded by the program.
● Meet with project facilitator 3 times during the exchange (1 hour each)
● Support closing festival activities and sharing program photos and highlights.
● Provide feedback on virtual exchange activities and the platform.
*Specific details are subject to change. Hours are best estimates and may vary.
iEARN-USA will provide:
● Virtual exchange platform – iEARN’s Collaboration Centre.
● Orientation for the students.
● In-person orientation and training for the teacher/adult leader.
● The project curriculum and virtual exchange facilitators.
● Providing ongoing monitoring and support for participating teachers and students.
● Partnerships with students and teachers participants in the US, Tunisia, and Algeria.
● Ongoing support for students and teachers.
● One-year iEARN-USA membership for participating teachers and students.
● Program data analysis and a final report.
● Teacher/adult leaders may receive a stipend upon completion.
Through participation in the Storytelling for Social Change Virtual Exchange Program, youth will:
● Gain an understanding of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and connect them with local issues.
● Develop and use communication skills to connect with diverse audiences.
● Develop openness and respect towards people from other cultures and perspectives.
● Take collaborative action to make meaningful contributions to local and global communities.
● Employ storytelling as a tool for social change and community development.
● Effectively use storytelling skills to share the impact of their projects.