The Neighborhood Story Project works with high school students and their families to write about their lives and neighborhoods. Students learn to write creative non-fiction and vignettes, conduct in-depth interviews of family members and neighbors, and take photographs. Community writing projects allow us to be the authors of our own stories, and infuse our community with real and important literature.The project reminds me a bit of the Family Voices Project, which I've been part of for the last four years (I'm going to begin my fifth year soon. I work with students at five local high schools, helping them research and write family stories. It's such a gratifying thing to be part of.) There is one huge difference, though--the Neighborhood Story Project is set in New Orleans, and many of the neighborhoods that were part of the program no longer exist, at least not as they once did. The website notes
In the aftermath of the destruction, we are in the process of re-envisioning our work and our city. We are beginning to organize an oral history project about people's lives in New Orleans, their experiences with the storm, and their hopes for the future. We are currently looking for financial support to make this project a reality.You can donate directly at the website if you're moved to do so. I'm glad some of the neighborhood stories will be saved, even if the neighborhoods themselves cannot.