The “Stories of Hope” program brings together the concepts of place-based education and the methods of ethnographic inquiry to offer high school students learning experiences that have personal, community, and global relevance.
The program begins with an elective course taught by Harwood English teacher, Steve Rand, “Stories of Hope: A Journey to Rwanda.” In February Steve leads students on a three-week travel-study to Rwanda accompanied by digital media coaches from the Vermont Folklife Center.
Media production work augments this experience, offering students a vehicle to hear the stories that their Rwandan hosts share on their own terms. Students then create media pieces useful to the program’s partner organizations. This media work also offers a portal to students’ experience when they return to the US.
Students teaching students, both formally and informally, is an integral part of the “Stories of Hope” program. Upon their return from Rwanda, students take part in and organize an array of community forums–including cultural events, exhibitions, conference workshops, and school presentations.
A video produced during the program in 2015:
Images from the 2014 experience: