My Week of Giving entry is for Streetside Stories, a non-profit based in San Francisco that encourages young people from Kindergarten to the 8th grade to express themselves through their art and writing. Streetside Stories conduct after school workshops in underprivileged areas where they teach children literary and art skills, then help them put together a live reading or a movie of their story. At the end of the workshop, the children put on a “Sharing Day” production of all their stories for their families and friends. Streetside Stories currently publishes anthologies of children’s stories where the proceeds go towards the programs.
One thing that I love about this non profit is that it has a focus on group support – everyone is there to help each other develop their voice and feel comfortable being themselves. Streetside Stories helps children tell their own stories on their own terms – it could be anything from a story they need to get off their chest or a story that they’ve never told. The classroom should be a space that children feel comfortable being themselves in, and that is exactly what Streetside Stories is working towards.
As someone who has always had trouble communicating, especially in front of peers and even to family members (grew up in an Asian family over here..), being able to find an outlet of self-expression is one of the most integral ways to stay happy and healthy. I did my first live performance monologue during an university production and while it was one of the scariest experiences of my undergrad, it was also one of the best decisions I’ve made because it made me realize how silent I had become when it came to expressing myself. There’s so much value in live performance, group support, and being open as it helps in developing one’s voice, confidence and sustaining mental health. I can’t imagine what it’d be like if people could go through an experience like that earlier in their lives.
I very much value people just being themselves, being kind, and trying to gain confidence and a voice in an otherwise discouraging environment. And it’s still something many adults and myself need to work towards everyday. Please favorite so that the Week of Giving donation goes to Streetside Stories. They’re doing amazing things that often gets overlooked, so please check them out and find out what you can do.
To find out more information about Streetside Stories, please visit www.streetside.org. Thanks for reading!