Using stories of heroes to empower “sticking your neck out” for common good
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The Giraffe Heroes project was founded by Ann Medlock to inspire and empower people to ‘stick their necks out’ for the common good. Since 1994, this project has been collecting nominations of ordinary, unknown heroes (known as “Giraffes”) who show persistence and courage in their efforts toward doing a common good, and helping them get their stories publicized in the media. Their goal is to inspire movement to action by telling the public about individuals who had solutions to some problems of the world, and found the courage to act. The giraffe database currently has stories of over 1,300 Giraffes, which can be used to educate and inspire students.
Also available on the website are teaching materials for the Giraffe Program, for fostering compassion, active citizenship and courage in students K-12. Featuring stories of Giraffe heroes, these teaching materials integrate service-learning, character education, civic engagement, experiential learning and literacy training (in Voices of Hope), within a “HEAR THE STORY ~ TELL THE STORY ~ BE THE STORY” framework. Some lessons are available in Spanish and German as well as English.
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