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October 6, 2010

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October 6, 2010

Bridges to Understanding realizes its mission by enabling youth to craft and share their stories with each other and the world. By leveraging a centuries old medium, storytelling, with 21st century technology, Bridges to Understanding puts the power of the story in the hands of the storyteller and allows these stories to be shared over thousands of miles. At Bridges, youth whose voices are often marginalized, shift into a narrator role that inspires confidence, builds community, and highlights their core values.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My own professional career has been profoundly influenced by Bridges. A weekend training gave me the skills to not only use storytelling in my own work, but also share the skill in leadership trainings in both Sudan and Namibia.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

October 1, 2010

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October 1, 2010

Bridges to Understanding provided a technological avenue that enabled my students to tell their stories. The use of digital cameras allowed them to see immediate results and collaborate with their classmates to produce a final product that shared a part of their lives with their classmates and classmates in distant parts of the world. A Bridges photography volunteer came to my classroom every week to work with the students and Bridges provided workshop opportunities for those who wanted to learn advanced techniques. They read the stories of students who lived in exile, poverty, and isolation while at the same time sharing their traditions, culture, joys, and problems. My students were able to communicate via the internet one on one with students in Tibet and Peru. Bridges to Understanding opened the eyes of my students to differences and commonalities in the world. Digital stories were made about religious festivals, games and sports, and the daily lives of my students. This organization gave my students the opportunity to learn about cameras, slide shows, auditory recordings, and the creation of digital stories. These are the technical skills they will be able to carry with them in the future, but more important, they learned about other cultures by making a very personal connection. I was so impressed with the involvement and outcome in many of the classrooms, I continued to work with Bridges as a volunteer after I retired. I now work in the office and in the classroom as a volunteer.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the classroom and as a volunteer. Students are meeting peers from other countries, an internship program for high school and college students involving travel and mentorship in foreign countries has developed, workshops for teachers have increased.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 30, 2010

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September 30, 2010

I absolutely love this organization! For the past few years my students have had the opportunity to create digital stories with the help of staff and volunteers from Bridges. I have also participated in their workshops and have helped to adapt some of the curriculum through using it in the classroom. I can say that every student who has participated in the project has learned a lot and had a great experience. My classes have made stories on a variety of issues related to their own lives, a very empowering and eye-opening journey. Some great stories have been made on poverty, homelessness, food waste, and where our cafeteria food comes from. I never hesitate to welcome Bridges into my class because I know the experience will streghten classroom culture and bonds as well as build critical thinking and media skills. My only heartbreak is that not all of my classes have the opprtunity to do the project.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I can say that one year we took a very challenging class and through the experience with Bridges built bonds that carried throughout the rest of our school year. Students in that class kept their grades up, and attended class more regularly.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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