THE GERMANACOS FELLOWSHIP FOR SHARING HISTORY
Since 2015, the VOW Education Program’s Sharing History Initiative has supported passionate and underfunded teachers, storytellers, and community leaders in bringing social justice-based storytelling into their communities.
Thanks to the generosity of the Germanacos Foundation, we are able to provide specialized support to select Sharing History participants through a fellowship established in 2016.
The Germanacos Fellowship for Sharing History allows us to help this small group of teachers, storytellers, and community leaders explore groundbreaking new projects, complete or enhance ongoing projects, and push the boundaries of oral history-based storytelling. Each year, five Fellows are selected based on criteria including classroom or community need, a demonstrated commitment to advocacy, innovation, and creativity, and the capacity for building empathy-based learning experiences.
Germanacos Fellows receive:
- $1,200 to cover project expenses
- 20 hours of direct support time from the VOW education staff and learning community
- Opportunities for collaborative learning and professional development within a small, tight-knit cohort of Germanacos Fellows
2019-20 GERMANACOS FELLOWS
Veronica and Nathalie worked together to create a cookbook with their AVID EXCEL students, who are classified as long-term language learners and come together to create a diverse classroom. The students used oral history interviews to learn what food means to their relatives and community members, compiling the stories and recipes in to a beautiful cookbook that was printed and shared with their narrators.
James Lick Middle School
San Francisco, CA
Ria and her two classes of 10th graders have been learning about the stories of refugees in the US and in their own neighborhoods, and the students will be creating a resource guide for newcomers to the Bay Area based on interviews conducted with local organizations that serve these communities. The work combines their social justice curriculum with practical applications of their new skills.
Latitude High School
Rebecca and Chela collaborated with other teachers and VOW on a curricular unit for long-term language learners in the Oakland Unified School District. They are piloting parts of the oral history unit as a narrative project with their own students, focusing on stories of gentrification in their neighborhoods and how it affects their own communities.
Coliseum College Prep Academy
Matt is creating an oral history-based course that will be repeated every other year and allow students to develop research projects based on the needs of their interviews. The students will partner with local organizations or identify members of their own community to highlight.
John O’Connell High School
San Francisco, CA
Michael has partnered with VOW and Sequoia Senior Living to create an intergenerational, oral history arts project that connects high school students and senior citizens in the same San Francisco neighborhood. The project creates space for students and seniors to build relationships together and learn from each other in a
Ida B. Wells Continuation High School
San Francisco, CA
2018-19 GERMANACOS FELLOWS
As the demographics in Hayward continue to shift, Maria is keenly aware of how many of her students feel left behind and worry about finding space for their cultural identities. She plans on helping students amplify each other’s voices within their community, culminating in an event where students will share their stories in public readings and experiences with a wider audience.
Impact Academy of Art and Technology
Oliver works with a particularly diverse population in his community college, where new high school graduates and returning adult students mingle and share life experiences within his classroom. His California History course always focuses on the social justice side of history in this state, and Oliver plans on centering his students and their families within the curriculum through oral history. He also plans on collaborating with other educators within the San Joaquin Valley, to create curriculum that can be shared and utilized at other sites.
Brian works solely with English language learners at his school, primarily with students who have the language level to communicate but struggle with authentically sharing their story in a foreign language. He hopes to use oral history to give them a tool to share their own stories and those around them, so they may see themselves as writers and creators first and foremost. He plans to host a podcast for students to practice their speaking and listening and narrative storytelling skills, while having a shareable product that other language learners in the district can listen to for inspiration and learning.
East Bay Arts High School
San Lorenzo, CA
Evan is a returning Fellow from the 2017-18 school year, but he will be working on a special collaboration with Oakland High this year as part of an initiative to increase college attendance rates in the Oakland school district. His students will be advanced English language learners, and he will continue using oral history as a language learning and cultural sharing tool. He hopes to host a podcast, led by students interviewing each other about their sense of community in Oakland and within their country of origin, and wants to share this podcast district-wide to highlight the diversity of Oakland and its student population.
Laney College & Oakland High School
Nooshi’s Advanced Oral Communication course contains a special unit on immigration, a topic that most of her students have experienced, as they come from a diverse range of countries and academic histories. Each year, they interview immigrants to the U.S. about their experiences and their unique perspective of the U.S. Nooshi hopes to use this Fellowship to share these stories more widely, and give her students more tools for representing their narrator’s story in creative ways.