Tellin Stores, Finding Common Ground

In October 1999,  a small group of African American and Latino parents gathered at Washington D.C.’s Bruce-Monroe Elementary School to begin a workshop series facilitated by Teaching for Change’s parent empowerment project Tellin’ Stories. During the first workshop, the organizers placed a “story fortune” bag in the middle of the room. The bag was filled with evocative storytelling prompts, such as “My first day of school,” “A time my Mom/Dad made me proud,” and “A time I felt I had no voice.” As the parents chose prompts and shared stories, they began to build bonds of empathy. During the next few weeks, they shared stories and participated in other trust-building activities through which they talked about their challenges, their children, and positive and negative experiences with the school. (Download PDF)