StoryTellers
Self-esteem through self-expression
ABOUT US
We are a community based organization that develops literacy through the art of writing.  Using reading, group exercises, creative prompts, and one-on-one mentoring, StoryTellers provides under-served teenagers, young adults, and women in distressed situations the opportunity to write their own stories which can inspire them to discover the strength and power of their own voices.  The goal of our programs is to develop literacy, reading comprehension, self-expression, and self-esteem.
The vision of StoryTellers is to improve the quality of life in our communities in the following ways:

  • Help teenagers and young adults become self-sufficient through writing and reading.
  • Improve basic literacy skills through writing, reading, and research (as and where appropriate).
  • Help children’s development, school readiness, and school success.
  • Increase parental and community involvement in children’s education.
  • Help children positively impact their community.
  • Use StoryTellers as a vehicle for women who have been victims of sexual or domestic violence to tell their own stories in their own words. Personal narrative gives these women a way to heal through narrative, while hopefully empowering other women in similar situations to come forward and speak up/speak out.
  • Work with incarcerated fathers who are trying to assimilate back into the community once they have served their sentences.
  1. “I make writing as much a part of my life as I do eating or listening to music.”

    MAYA ANGELOU

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, Sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam.

    JOHN STEVENS

WHO MATTERS TO US

the invisible child__________________________

Meet Anthony

  • Anthony cannot read or write like other kids his age.

  • His classmates think he is shy.  He doesn’t speak in class and never participates in discussions, even when called on by his teacher.

  • Anthony is in the 6th Grade but reads at a 3rd Grade level.

  • Anthony is dyslexic.

  • His mother cannot help him with his homework because she never graduated from high school.

  • He doesn’t ask for anything.

  • Anthony is frustrated that he cannot express the stories he wants to tell.
One of the most critically important issues facing America today is illiteracy.  Illiteracy affects everyone and has a broad impact on healthcare, crime, social programs, and socio-economic policies.  I in 4 children in America grows up without learning how to read.  Students who don’t read proficiently by the 3rd Grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of school than 3rd Graders who do read proficiently.  Two-thirds of all students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th Grade will wind up in jail or on welfare. 

the silent woman__________________________

Meet Linda

  • Linda isn’t Anthony's mother but she could be.

  • She loves her children but Linda is lost as a parent.

  • Linda loves her husband because even though he hits her, he is not always violent.

  • Linda thinks her children “need a father” so she stays.

  • Linda did not finish high school because she got pregnant at 16 and had to drop out.

  • She would like to read bedtime stories to her children but she cannot read or write proficiently.

  • Linda is convinced that every beating will be the last.

  • She cannot tell her story.
I in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime

Domestic violence impacts every woman who survives it as well as those closest to her. Women with poor reading and writing skills are more likely to be either under-employed or unemployed, and paid less than their more literate counterparts throughout their lives.   Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Nationally, domestic violence costs more than $8.3 Billion a year in law enforcement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at the workplace.

the forgotten girl_________________

Meet Morgan

  • No one listens to Morgan – her classmates think she is quiet.

  • Morgan feels misunderstood because she has no way to express herself.

  • She feels scared, alone, and anxious.  Morgan feels less confident than boys and other girls in class.

  • Morgan doesn’t like the way her uncle touches her sometimes, but she thinks no one would believe her if she talked about what happens when he visits.

  • When she was a freshman, Morgan liked drama class because she could pretend to be someone else, but now she doesn’t want anyone looking at her.

  • Morgan cannot concentrate in school and is failing most of her classes.  She thinks about dropping out.
While 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime, 1 in 2 have been victims of sexual violence as a child. 
 
More than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year.  Girls with below average literacy skills are 6 times more likely to have out-of-wedlock children than girls who read proficiently.  These same girls who are functionally illiterate are often poor, unable to read to their children, or help with homework, and create an environment where their own children fall behind in school.  Statistically, those boys end up in juvenile court while girls turn into teen mothers.  The reciprocal effect is that school grades suffer due to a lack of concentration and an inability to complete homework, in-class assignments, and tests, which leads to higher dropout rates. 
      
  1. “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” FREDERICK DOUGLASS

    FREDERICK DOUGLASS

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, Sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam.

    JOHN STEVENS

For more information and to learn about our programs:

CONTACT US
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CONTACT INFORMATION
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CEO/President:                      Michael Downing
Founder/Creative Director: Kevin Michaels
Vice-President:                      Helen Taylor

Address:
2527 Woodcrest Court NE
​Lawrenceville, GA 30043
 
Telephone:
770-802-4485
 
Email:
info@storytellersnj.org
michael@storytellersnj.org
 
 



StoryTellers, Inc. is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501    ( C ) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Notwithstanding any other provision of these Articles, the corporation does not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (1) by a corporation exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501 ( C ) (3) of the internal revenue Code, or (2) by a corporation contribution to which are deductible under Section 170 ( C )(2) of said Code, or the corresponding provisions of any future statute of the United States.


No substantial part of the activities of this corporation consist of carrying on propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation; nor does the corporation participate or intervene in any political campaign (including the publishing or distribution of statements) on behalf of any candidate for public office
.