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Updated: Jul 29


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 as well as facilitate sessions. 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 marie@seestories.org with "TPS Grant Inquiry" in the subject line to receive more information as well as the application in August.

As students in "International Understanding in a Time of COVID-19" processed their experiences writing letters and sharing conversations with peers in Uganda, they created podcasts, art, writing, and songs to express their thoughts, feelings, and discoveries.

Miska, a 10th grader from Nikolai who lives in Anchorage, created a podcast, inspired by a shared injustice he saw in both Uganda and the US. One of the Ugandan participants, Fred, had recently been beaten by police in a market, even though he was buying food within curfew hours. Miska explored and built on that story with Fred's permission.


Kim, a student in Kodiak who loves crafting and was inspired by her new Ugandan friends' accounts of beading and sewing, did extensive research before creating this art via Adobe. You can see her final piece and her process below



Emma, a student artist from Denali Park, shared the following words and created the following art that included all the participants from Alaska and Uganda.

"I’m amazed how in Uganda people are using this time to benefit themselves. Candiru Recho shared that she has started learning to tailor her own clothing, and Amanziru Palm Sunday has spent her time making paper beads and necklaces. Sharing our experiences during the quarantine also highlighted some differences in our lives. With schools shut down due to COVID-19, in Uganda lessons are being broadcasted to students over the radio. This not only lets students continue learning from home, but gives children who cannot afford school fees the opportunity to take classes that they would otherwise not be able to access. In Uganda the quarantine comes with a strict curfew enforced by police officers, and there isn't uproar or backlash like there is in the U.S. if a police officer uses force against a civilian. There is no media coverage and no protests like what we have recently been seeing across the United States. One of the Ugandan students shared that he had been beaten by police the previous day for being out too early in the morning. All of us from both locations had to try to see the story from the other's perspective. I have learned a lot so far from this project, and I hope to get to learn even more about peers across the world. I also hope that as my Ugandan Penpal Semi wrote, 'that everything will get on and stand well.'"

Josephine (from Chefornak) and Recho (from Arua) were penpals through See Stories' International Understanding in a Time of Covid Virtual Exchange. They discovered they both loved crafting and sewing, and they were both struggling during COVID-19 since they were newly working in Early Childhood Education.

Josephine wrote the following about her experience:



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See Stories is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides free youth film workshops and creates films that foster an inclusive community story. 

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T: 917.312.8136

E: marie@seestories.org