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Young Authors at Stratford School Become Philanthropists

Through their after-school “1001 Stories Club,” six 3rd – 5th-grade authors at the Santa Clara Stratford Elementary School are honing their writing skills, publishing a book and practicing philanthropy.

The Stratford students read 100 stories written by disadvantaged children from around the world and selected one that particularly resonated with them. They developed the story into a 20-page, illustrated paperback that is soon to be published.

The students chose the story Selfishness Never Pays, written by Aman, a poor boy who attends a school in India run by the Lotus Petal Foundation. The foundation provides free nutrition and healthcare as well as education to children in urban slums in India.

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At a Stratford School assembly May 10, the 1001 Stories Club members presented a $3,000 check from the school to Kushal Raj Chakravorty, founder in 2011 of the Lotus Petal Foundation.

“The students become worldwide authors and illustrators. At the same time, they impact and improve lives,” said club advisor Nina Lim, a first grade teacher. “It’s an exciting experience for them.”

“I learned with the kids as we did this project together over five months,” said Lim. “Even as a teacher, I’ve never published a book before.”

Seeds of Empowerment is the link connecting the Lotus Petal Foundation with Stratford School. SOE is a nonprofit founded by Dr. Paul Kim, Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Dean of the Stanford University Graduate School of Education.

Using mobile technology, SOE partners with hard-to-reach, under-served communities in more than 22 countries to create or improve access to education. One SOE program is the 1001 Stories Project.

The project conducts storytelling workshops that enable disadvantaged children to write their personal stories. These stories are stored in a database and shared with other children.

“The 1001 Stories Club educates Stratford students about the needs of children living in developing countries. It also empowers students to make a global difference through working collaboratively and thinking creatively,” said Stratford School Head Librarian Keira Pride.

Ten dollars from the sale of each $20 book will be donated to the Lotus Petal Foundation. To purchase a book, go to www.TreeRing.com.

Create or access an account. Enter the pass code 1015501064802078 or search under “Stratford School 1001 Stories Santa Clara Pomeroy Elementary.”

Stratford is a private preschool through 8th grade school with campuses in northern and southern California. The Santa Clara campus enrolls students through the 5th grade.

“My hope is that the 1001 Stories Club continues to expand to each and every Stratford campus. Just imagine the number of children we could positively impact through education and the lives we could change,” said Pride.

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