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Putting 'U' in Community Education: The Storytellers

Member of storytelling group sit around table togetherCommunity Education provides lifelong learning for all. That’s why we’re sharing stories of the different ways people interact with Community Ed. We want YOU to see how Community Education is having an impact on your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues. 

(11/20/23) It didn’t take long for three Champlin Park High School juniors to realize they’ve got a volunteer gig that keeps on giving.

“They’re all great! They are interesting people,” said 16-year-old Maia Ark.  “They have really cool stories.”

Once a month, Ark, Brynn Schmidt, and Emilia Nguyen meet at Saint Therese Senior Living Community in Brooklyn Park to listen to stories from several residents who are part of an on-site Oxbow Lake Storyteller group. Members of the group write and share personal stories. The girls then take the handwritten notes home to type before adding them to a categorized collection.

“We made a table of contents,” said Schmidt. “We organized them by person and then wrote all the names of the stories in order by how they are laid out in the book.”

Not only are the girls helping preserve memories from another generation, but they are also getting first-person accounts of what it was like to live in a different time. Saint Therese residents have shared stories about Pearl Harbor and JFK’s assassination, as well as stories about working on a farm, marriage, and family.

The girls say it’s a win-win for everyone. “I think they just like having someone, our generation, hearing their stories,” said Nguyen.

In our latest Putting ‘U’ in Community Education video, we’ll share a story about a group of storytellers who are documenting history one memory at a time.