Discover how communities and schools everywhere are using This I Believe.
The freshman class at the University of Louisville has been reading This I Believe this year for their Book in Common, engaging students, faculty, staff, and alumni in reading and writing essays. And, in the College of Education, future elementary teachers taught area fourth graders to write their own This I Believe essays. Click here and here to learn more about This I Believe at U of L.
The English Department at Clarion University invited Dan Gediman to participate in its cultural series entitled, “In God We Trust?” Students, staff, faculty, and community members reflected on particular belief systems and how writing This I Believe essays have allowed individuals to explore a belief in God for themselves. Eleven essayists read their belief statements at the Dec. 4th event.
All four campuses of Ivy Tech Community College—Kokomo are reading This I Believe II as their common book this year. Ethan Heicher, assistant vice chancellor of Academic Affairs for the region, says “It’s really taken off.” Besides being required reading for all students, the book has also been embraced by faculty as “a really good way to let people get to know each other on a deeper level.” This I Believe Executive Director Dan Gediman visited two campuses this fall.
Pennington, New Jersey
All students at Hopewell Valley Central High School read This I Believe: Life Lessons over the summer then penned their own essays this fall. In addition, students have created a “wall of belief” to illustrate the varied beliefs at the school. Language Arts Supervisor Sara Graja said of the activities, “It’s worth remembering that students’ education doesn’t end when they leave the classroom… These essays center on the values that shape who we are as individuals.”
At the Youth Performing Arts School, Katie Weible’s senior acting students created a production based on This I Believe. Students started by writing and sharing their own essays, then interviewed people in their community, including a homeless person, a grocery store clerk, and a Congressman. After several months of working on the documentary-style theater piece, students said they became a “family” and developed a deeper respect for the beliefs of their peers.
New Haven, Connecticut
More than 1,200 freshmen at Southern Connecticut State University read the book This I Believe last fall. Then, at the end of the semester, all students were invited to enter a contest to share the stories of their beliefs. Click here to see pictures of the essay winners at the SCSU This I Believe Essay Contest Celebration. We especially love their t-shirts: “I believe in writing This I Believe essays”!
St. Michaels, Maryland
Led by Don Rush of Delmarva Public Radio, members of the Academy for Lifelong Learning at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum participated in a This I Believe program, listening to recorded essays and writing and sharing their own. Class member Anne McCormick wrote that “This I Believe is a shining example of…creating communities among ‘seasoned’ learners.” The Academy plans to hold the program again in the spring.
Galloway, New Jersey
At The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the class of 2016 is focused on this year’s theme of “Believe It or Not.” Throughout the academic year, a variety of events and activities will be focused on this theme, including a read of This I Believe II in Freshman Seminar courses. Our executive director Dan Gediman visited campus for a convocation event earlier this fall, where he met six student essay winners. Click here to see more photos.
Producer C. Tad Devlin of Northwest Film Projects, Inc., has produced a 30-minute pilot for television and Internet entitled Snippets. Based on the organization’s belief in the power of stories to educate, uplift, and preserve cultural values, the Snippets pilot includes short videos about our common, everyday lives. Included in the pilot episode is a video interpretation of a popular This I Believe essay, Remembering All the Boys. Click here for a look at the video.
At the University of Illinois, the Illini Union has chosen This I Believe for its One Book One Campus read for 2012-2013. The book was chosen by a committee composed of students, faculty, and staff. The One Book One Campus program hopes to provide a shared experience for the campus community, as well as the wider communities of Champaign and Urbana. Co-editor Dan Gediman will visit campus on October 4 for a free lecture. Click here to learn more.