By Dee Grano, Director of Marketing, The Light Factory
Thanks to the e-generosity of power2Give.org donors, The Light Factory will bring the power of image to English as Second Language Students at two more Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools through “My Family, Our Stories” for the 2012/2013 year. Funding cuts threatened to limit the impact of the photo-literacy program by decreasing it to one school until a call for support was fully funded with a matching gift through The Leon Levine Foundation.
When I got out of the airport, my uncle wanted to go buy some clothes for me, because I had on the only clothes I owned. – Laick Sache, Guatemala
Since 2000, “My Family, Our Stories” has used the power of photography and filmmaking to help middle and high school students struggling to learn English. Students are lent cameras to take home to document their lives, communities and families. Their final photographs and stories become a part of an exhibition at The Light Factory in the spring.
“We have an opening reception where the students can bring their families and friends to see their work,” says Jen Crickenberger, director of education for The Light Factory. “These brave young people tell their personal stories in front of the entire crowd. There’s never a dry eye in the room.”
In my country, Iraq, there is a lot of war. I came to the USA for peace. – Omar Shawkat, Iraq
Because of budget constraints, funding for “My Family, Our Stories” has decreased. The Light Factory has historically offered the program to as many as seven schools. This past school year only saw three schools, and next year would have only been one.
“Because of Power2Give.org, The Light Factory will maintain our impact bringing photo-literacy to underserved students and their hardworking teachers,” says Executive Director Marcie Kelso.
If you stop practicing a certain activity you forget how to do it, this happened to me when I wanted to dream. Thanks to “My Family, Our Stories” I was able to learn step by step how to dream again. – Charlena Garcia, Columbia
More information on The Light Factory, and “My Family, Our Stories” can be found online at www.lightfactory.org/my-family-our-stories.