The Great Thanksgiving Listen

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is how families come together to break bread and share stories while being thankful for everything that they have. This year, during the Thanksgiving holiday, there is an exciting nationwide project that the Ridgefield Academy community might consider participating in – The Great Thanksgiving Listen.

This Thanksgiving weekend, StoryCorps will work with teachers and high school students across the country to preserve the voices and stories of an entire generation of Americans over a single holiday weekend.

Open to everyone, The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a national assignment to engage people of all ages in the act of listening. The pilot project is specially designed for students ages 13 and over and as part of a social studies, history, civics, government, journalism, or political science class, or as an extracurricular activity. All that is needed to participate is a smartphone and the StoryCorps mobile app.

The Great Thanksgiving Listen entails students using the free StoryCorps app (available for iPhone and Android devices) to record an interview with an elder, take a picture together, and with consent of all participants, publish the interview and photo online to the Library of Congress.

While StoryCorps’ focus for this first year of The Great Thanksgiving Listen is high school students, we think that Ridgefield Academy students and their families have a lot to offer, too.

Participating is easy.

  1. Choose someone you love to interview.
  2. Download the StoryCorps app [iTunes or Google Play] and select your questions.
  3. Plan for when and where your interview will take place.
  4. Have a great conversation, and use the app to take a group photo when you’re done.
  5. Upload and use the keywords TheGreatListen2015CT, plus RidgefieldAcademy so that we can try to collect all the stories shared by Ridgefield Academy families.

For more background on StoryCorps, whose founder Dave Isay won the recent TED Prize, watch this TED Talk: