Updated: Dec 18, 2020

See Stories was awarded the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF) to lead a spring 2021 virtual teacher professional development course titled COVID-19 Podcasting & Digital Storytelling: Culturally Responsive and Social Emotional Best Practices. The course is designed for teachers of 6th - 12th grade Alaska Native and Newcomer (immigrant and refugee) students, and participating educators will receive support in engaging students with social emotional learning (SEL) through sharing COVID stories via podcasting and digital storytelling. There is no cost associate with taking this class.

One of the best things about this free course for participating teachers is the team who will serve as instructors and guest instructors. Alaskan teachers / librarians of 6th - 12th grade Alaska Native / Newcomer students who would like to apply to participate in this virtual, 3 credit professional development course can do so at this link. Please note that this makes most Alaskan middle school and high school teachers eligible, as our classrooms are as a diverse as our beautifully diverse communities.

Alice Qannik Glenn, founder of the acclaimed Coffee and Quaq podcast, will engage teachers in the art of podcasting, from choosing a story to conducting interviews, and from editing to thinking about audience and distribution. As an Iñupiaq podcaster, Alice will bring her sensitivity to Alaska Native cultures and stories to the process.

Marie Acemah, founder / Director of See Stories, will facilitate the overall course, and engage teachers in the art of digital storytelling. Marie has 15+ years of teaching and teacher professional development experience, from Kodiak to Kaktovik, and from Ohio to Uganda. She has an MA from Columbia University Teachers College in International Educational Development and a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John's College in Santa Fe.

Rafael Bitanga, founder of Bitanga Productions, will serve as course TA, and will use his experience with digital storytelling and documentary filmmaking to support the digital storytelling process. Rafael's experience as a 1.5 generation Filipinx immigrant will help educators with their best practices around culturally responsive, social emotional learning. He has won many awards, most recently a 2020 congressional gold medal.

Dr. Daren Graves is an Adjunct Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and serves as Associate Professor of Social Work at Simmons University. He will lead a session on analyzing power dynamics and fostering equitable change through story, podcast, and digital storytelling. He will focus particularly on the systemic inequities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ann McKay Bryson served in the Anchorage School District for over 30 years, working as a classroom and Special Education teacher, and as a professional development leader. For the past nine years, Ann has been an SEL consultant for CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning). Ann will support participating educators with a variety of social emotional learning best practices, and identify ways that storytelling can enhance positive identity development for students and teachers alike.

Alberta Demantle has taught for 25 years in Akiak, in the Yupiit School District. As a Yup'ik Athabascan educator raised in Bethel, her focus is celebrating the history and beauty of Alaska Native People. Alberta will help ground the course in Alaska Native values, perspectives, and provide participating educators with practical tips in how to meaningfully engage rural communities, tribal council leaders, and students. She also recently learned documentary film, so can support educators with digital storytelling.

Dr. Emily Price serves as Adjunct Instructor on Social Emotional Learning at the University of Colorado, and Director of Education at the Alternative Community Resource Program. She will integrate pedagogies of play that teachers can implement with middle and high school students to help them approach the challenges of COVID in creative ways. She will also unpack the idea of "play as activism."

Alaskan teachers of 6th - 12th grade Alaska Native / Newcomer students who would like to apply to participate in this virtual, 3 credit professional development course can learn more and do so at this link. We look forward to hearing from you!

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See Stories has been working this past year on this short film about the enslavement of Indigenous people on land now known as the United States with Howdice Brown III of Channel Films, Alice Qannik Glenn of Coffee and Quaq, and project maestro Kate Shuster. This film is a Teaching Tolerance production, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The beautiful artwork for this poster was created by talented Yup'ik artist Amber Webb. You can now watch the film here. We are grateful to the Alutiiq Museum for supporting us with the powerful song Ukut Skunat in the intro. We are also humbled to have been able to interview an amazing crew of scholars and culture bearers in the creation of this film; Paula Peters, Tiya Miles, Sven Haakanson, Margaret Newell, Andrés Reséndez, and Ned Blackhawk. Everything about this process, from learning this painful history, to figuring out how we would share it, to wondering where this film would land in the world, has been deeply humbling. Please join us for a filmmakers Q and A on Wednesday October 7th at 12:30 AK time. You will have to pre-register here. As Alice Qannik Glenn says, "In order to move forward... we should acknowledge the truth."

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Updated: Aug 26, 2020

See Stories was awarded a Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Grant in partnership with the Alaska Humanities Forum and the UAA Professional and Continuing Education Program. This funding will support a virtual teacher training for social studies educators from throughout Alaska to learn about how they can support their students to submit documentary films to Alaska History Day, which is the social studies equivalent to the science fair. The graduate level course for teachers will be held online, and teachers from throughout Alaska are encouraged to apply (teacher application to be released in August). The funding is dispersed through the TPS at MSU Denver Program.

Participating educators will learn how they can utilize Alaskan primary sources, in particular sources from Library of Congress online collections, to support their students to create films that document uniquely Alaskan stories. While See Stories and Alaska Humanities Forum staff members will facilitate the course, a handful of guest educators will help shape the project. Leah Geibel, Archivist at the Alaska State Archives, will serve as project advisor and support teachers to build archival resources for their students. Jim Labelle Sr., an Iñupiaq elder from Nome and retired UAA Professor of Alaska Native Studies, will share his personal story of utilizing archival research and primary sources to explore the records of his childhood boarding school experience to process his trauma. Dr. Ian Hartmann, Professor of History at UAA, will engage teachers in both how to utilize Library of Congress Primary Sources as well as other archival resources in Alaska. Gabrielle Dudley, Instruction Archivist at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library at Emory University will lead a session on how to effectively shape a student's first encounter with a primary source, and she will also serve as project advisor.

If you are an Alaskan 7th - 12th grade teacher interested in this fully funded professional development opportunity, please email with "TPS Grant Inquiry" in the subject line to receive more information as well as the application in August.

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See Stories is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that builds inclusive communities with film and story.

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