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Every school has a story to tell. Are you ready to explore the story of YOUR school?

Mission & Project

More than a place of learning, schools are anchors for and reflections of the neighborhoods they serve. Today, we have a unique opportunity to capture our school stories to develop a cultural and historical understanding of our city’s origins.

We run programs in DC schools that empower students to research and discover the history of their school community. We then create a permanent, museum-quality exhibit installed in their school lobby that shares their findings with the broader community.

We see our project taking place in every DC school that sees value in preserving and learning from the past. Every program and exhibit will be different, reflecting the unique stories of each school community.

Purpose of Application & Important Dates

By filling out this application, our team will get to know you and your school and assess needs and timelines. We would like to serve every interested school, but we are limited in how many schools we can partner with each year.

Your answers may be brief – we know you are busy! We may reach out to discuss your application during the selection process.

If you have questions, please reach out to Jen Harris at

Application Due: April 1, 2024 at 5pm
Board Vote: April 8, 2024
Notified of Selection: April 12, 2024


There are two ways to submit your application:

  1. Download the PDF application and answer the questions within the PDF or in a separate word document. Send your completed application to Jen Harris at
  2. Fill out of the digital application below and click submit. Please note you cannot save the application while you are working on it. 

Application Form

If you’d prefer to submit a paper application form, please download the Application PDF here!

Download PDF


Contact Name


School Address


Our partnerships with each school generally kick off in the late spring when we begin project planning. The student program begins in the late fall and runs throughout the school year. The exhibit design is finalized over the summer, and the exhibit installation and reveal happens in the fall of the following school year.

The following is an example timeline:

  • Kick-off with new partner school: May 2024
  • Planning and preliminary research: Summer 2024
  • Kick off student program: October 2024
  • Finish student program: May 2025
  • Exhibit reveal event at the school: Fall 2025
Note: If not, it’s ok! We just want to know if anything is out there.
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    The Story of Our Schools does not bring in our own teachers. We collaborate with and rely upon the expertise and commitment of teachers within our partner schools. We support these teachers by providing a curriculum and a teacher coach.

    To help gauge time commitments and expectations, each lesson is designed to be an hour long, and students will need to meet once or twice a week covering one lesson per session, depending on the pace desired. Our provided curriculum has roughly twelve lessons. Teachers will also need planning time for reviewing the curriculum or planning field trips.

    While the lessons can run during the school day or as an afterschool club, our curriculum is aligned with common core standards and particularly well-aligned to DC social studies standards. The curriculum also complements multiple US History courses at the high school level and could be made into an elective course if that route is possible for your school.

    Note: if your students are meeting afterschool, we expect teachers to be compensated for any additional working hours. In DCPS schools this has typically been achieved using administrative premium pay.



    The Story of Our Schools believes every interested school should have the opportunity to work with us regardless of cost. Each school project costs roughly $80,000 depending on the size and scope of the exhibit. As a non-profit we are constantly fundraising throughout the year, but we require our school communities commit to jointly fundraise for certain aspects of the project.


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