See Stories was founded as a nonprofit in 2019 by a dedicated and diverse Board on the premise that representation matters, that Alaskan youth are uniquely equipped to share authentic local histories through film making and podcasting, and that empowering youth with media literacy is a vital skill in today’s world.
See Stories leads documentary film and podcast workshops with diverse teens throughout the state to craft new stories via podcasting and filmmaking that better represent the Alaska they know at no cost to the students. In media workshops, youth choose topics they are passionate about, interview peers, family, and community members, then edit their footage into a film or podcast that they share at a celebratory community showcase. We work at Title I Schools throughout the state, and also work with adjudicated youth.
A recently converted storage space in Buckland School in the Northwest Arctic Borough School District. Principal Cherita Williams spent part of the summer of 2023 prepping a new library space in order to promote literacy, and even more importantly, a love of books and reading in her school.
When Principal Williams arrived in Buckland School, there was a small library, but students did not use it and the books were old and outdated. She also saw that an area used for general storage could be smartly repurposed to serve as a bigger library space. As a long-time educator with her own love of books, she set out to update and transform students’ access to high quality books and a matching space dedicated to reading. Continue reading ‘Is It Library Time?’ By Principal Cherita Williams
Upon the news of his passing on November 29, Alaskan’s across the state remembered Father Michael Oleksa’s service as a priest, scholar, teacher, historian, and author. The Anchorage Daily News memorialized Father Oleksa as one of Alaska’s great communicators and “one of the state’s foremost proponents and teachers of cross-cultural communication, working to help build bridges of understanding between Alaska’s white and Native communities, between his church and the lay people, and between youth, adults and elders of all kinds.”
Dr. Randy Trani has had a strong belief in this quote, throughout his lifetime. He strives to implement this on a daily basis at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD), for all students.
A recent online lunch and learn meeting provided Dr.Trani the chance to share achievements and to commend staff and students on the strides made by MSBSD. ‘Lunch and Learn’ are a time for collaboration amongst staff, administrators and the community surrounding students. Lunch and learning are a quick way to share, observe, update and ask questions directly in an informal setting. Continue reading ‘Tide Rising for All Children’ by Dr. Randy Trani, MSBSD
The updated Alaska school library standards are not just about books. They are based on the six foundations of Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Explore and Engage. Some or all of these foundations can apply to and enhance ALL educational experiences, including the Sudoku board found in the Valdez High School Library.
VHS Library Associate Pamela Verfaillie was approached by math teacher Rachel Hamilton, thinking that she might be interested in a giant Sudoku board (seen on Teachers Pay Teachers). Mrs. Hamilton was right. They purchased one of the available TpT Sudoku kits and created a 2’x3’ station in the library. It is frequently in use and puzzles sometimes need to be changed out more than once in a day (it is set up so students can do that themselves).
When Mark John, Cultural Advisor of Calista Education and Culture (CEC) and Elder from Toksook Bay, talks about his work with CEC, he stresses the importance of engaging youth and documenting knowledge and place names for future generations. Mark John has been working with colleagues at CEC to document Yup’ik place names for decades. The Yup’ik Elders he works with believe that sharing knowledge freely across generations is an important part of Yup’ik culture. Yup’ik Elders are eager to teach young people the rich history and names of places of their homeland, including camp and settlement sites, rivers, sloughs, rocks, and ponds. Place names hold stories and knowledge important for language and cultural retention.
The rugged terrains of Alaska are not only home to natural wonders but have also become a cradle of growth for a different kind of exploration since 2019—one that empowers the youth with critical and computational thinking and digital fluency. The infusion of computer science education in K-12 settings in Alaska has not only reshaped students’ perspectives on technology but has also stimulated a movement of continuous professional development for educators. This journey from 2019 to the present showcases how Alaska is committed to equipping its students with essential skills for the digital age, careers, and holistic academic growth.