Building Stronger Schools Through Storytelling
Americans All uses a unique storytelling tool to facilitate legacy preservation, enable students to communicate better and help small businesses succeed. Families can also use this tool to pass on knowledge and experiences to current and future generations. Without this information, children will neither understand their roots nor develop their ethnic and cultural identity. In addition, storytelling brings communities together by sharing people’s common histories, rather than their differences. Schools, students and students’ families and friends participate in Americans All at no cost and receive a free, 3-month trial to our Social Legacy Network.
What makes us unique is that we include verified historical information—presented in multiple, nonpolitical perspectives—to provide context for these stories and the experiences, observations and accomplishments reflected in them.
Local businesses, service providers and cottage industries participate in our program as Business Legacy Partners, for a nominal fee. They can leverage stories about their business or practice to build closer relationships with current and future customers and clients. They can also use our program to share discounts on their goods and services with Americans All Social Legacy Network members.
Schools frequently ask businesses for financial support but rarely provide them with anything of value in return. Our grassroots approach enables schools to receive ongoing revenue from the fees paid by Business Legacy Partners. Americans All members can also continue their Social Legacy Network subscription for a small monthly cost ($4) after the free trial to continue to receive discounts from program partners and additional benefits. Schools also benefit directly from the Social Legacy Network fees.
Despite our successful distribution of classroom resources to more than 2,000 schools and libraries nationwide, we aim to stay clear of the divisive politics that are now affecting the teaching of social studies, and still staying true to our mission, have included a new goal. We have repurposed our unique storytelling tool to help families that lost a member(s) to COVID-19 to gain closure, and to permanently preserve the memories, contributions and achievements of their loved one(s). We also need to recognize the incredible, unselfish work of the first responders who risked their own lives to help those in need.
Membership Benefits for Students, Teachers and Their Families
- Americans All members can create, edit, share and preserve a multimedia legacy story forever on our Web-based Heritage Honor Roll and the home pages of our Legacy Partners.
- Legacy stories can:
- Contain up to 2,000 words, of which 1,000 can be password protected;
- Be published in multiple languages and be updated at no cost;
- Be enhanced with photographs, home movies and audio recordings;
- Include links to other Heritage Honor Roll legacy stories, social media sites and other Web pages; and
- Be shortened to print on an 8½” x 11” template to share with family and friends.
- Even though we are now more focused on being a writing exercise, all members can still access our existing K–12 social studies information—a $500+ value.
Academic Benefits of Storytelling and Americans All for Students
Stories begin at birth, and legacies are built every time a personal, academic or professional milestone is achieved. Everybody has valuable experiences and lessons learned to share with family, friends and future generations.
- Creating a story can be a valuable language arts exercise, providing students with an electronic diary that highlights, for example, meaningful vacation experiences and semester and/or grade-level accomplishments.
- Storytelling is a wonderful intergenerational bonding experience, building empathy, compassion and understanding, especially assisting families who have lost a loved one(s) to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- By helping others less skilled in the art of writing and the use of technology to incorporate images and recordings into their legacy stories, a student can earn service-learning credits.
- Helping others create and enhance a story also demonstrates to prospective employers and postsecondary institutions a student’s character and appreciation for how volunteerism benefits a community.
Benefits of Storytelling and Americans All to Schools
Schools participate in Americans All for free because they reinforce our goals of creating and sharing legacy stories and supporting excellence in social studies instruction.
- Schools only need to register for the program so they can provide businesses and local business with their membership code to gain revenue. They can complete their own story later.
- Americans All provide opportunities—in many subject areas—for students to create legacy stories, without changing established classroom lesson plans or instructional practices. Topics for the stories can be chosen either by the student or the teacher and can focus on individual family members or groups, or those who have made an impact on their local area or our nation.
- Receive a free story on their school that is published on our Heritage Honor Roll.
- Host, on their free Americans All Legacy Partner home page(s), stories from our Heritage Honor Roll about their students and staff as well as stories created by their students doing volunteer work.
Click here to view our program overview.
Click here to view a "blueprint" to guide a member on the storytelling process.
Click here for tips on “How to create a legacy story” and tips on “Storytelling for younger children.”
Click here to see information for PTA-PTO's.
Click here to learn how to become a School Legacy Partner.
Any questions? Please contact Americans All.