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The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this non-profit collaborative Web site allows school-age children from around the world to tell their own stories using their own words and images. Users can browse the various galleries of videos and narrative images to get glimpses into the lives of children from as close as Seattle to as far away as Guatemala.
What's it about?
Founder (and acclaimed photographer) Phil Borges envisioned and launched the BRIDGES TO UNDERSTANDING site after photographing indigenous people from around the world. In partnership with stock photography company Getty Images, he created BridgesWeb.org to provide students from a variety of schools worldwide with a forum to tell their own stories and to document their lives and cultures. The resulting gallery of digital stories gives a glimpse into how global issues affect and shape their own life and quality of life. Participating schools tell stories based on a common theme, and their work within those themes cover many topics, from climate change and hunger to poverty and child labor.
Is it any good?
From still images to narrated videos, this bridge to other countries and cultures allows students the opportunity to see the world and world issues from entirely different perspectives. Curious kids will find it enlightening and interesting to see and hear the stories featured in the gallery. More sensitive children, however, may find cause to worry as they uncover some of the more concerning global issues such as tuberculosis, starvation, and teen pregnancy.
The digital stories are told by students from selected schools around the world, and are generally well-crafted. Many feature striking visuals and exceptional, wise-beyond-their-years insight from their young narrators. Visitors will find an array of emotions throughout the site from heartfelt sadness to abundant hope. Teens and parents who peer into the site will find a wonderful window into the world.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of learning how children in other communities, cultures, and countries live. Do you find their stories and experiences more impactful and educational through a Web site than through a passage in a social studies book? In what ways do you think this forum helps connect kids throughout the world?
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