Earlier this year, GSK committed $500,000 to the Youth-Driven Healthy Recreation Centers Collective, an innovative 18-month partnership supported by a GSK IMPACT Grant and led by LiveWell Colorado. The partnership between GSK and eight nonprofits, including Earth Force, engages youth in three Northeast Denver recreation centers as change agents for a healthier community in NE Denver neighborhoods.
A critical component of the program is empowering youth leaders at the recreation centers to share their personal narrative as it relates to Healthy Eating and Active Living in their neighborhoods. To share their exciting progress, ah-ha moments, and lessoned learned youth leaders and GSK Collective partners participated in a workshop focused on digital storytelling.
Partners met with a group of young people who attend one of three local recreation centers: Swansea, Stapleton and St. Charles. Youth Leaders watched examples of videos created by high school students on a variety of different health-related subjects to get a feel for digital storytelling. After watching a few videos of their choice, the students critiqued them in small groups.
Next, students used Animoto to create their own digital story. One group developed the concept, Becoming a Healthy Couch Potato – Moving from Spud to Stud. Their story was about ways to be active and healthy even if you enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle. So clever!
The groups created a three-segment storyboard; they drew pictures of their hook to get the attention of their audience, the main message to their audience, and a final thought/image to leave with the audience. They started creating their digital story, choosing a background and music and overlaying their drawings, photos, and messages.
Storytelling is a mechanism for positive youth development. It also allows for students to process what they have accomplished thus far and celebrate their progress. At Earth Force, we often use storytelling and reflection interchangeably.
Groups will continue to work on their pieces, and we hope to share the completed stories earlier in the new year. Check back soon for updates!