W.Va. Music Hall Of Fame 2023 Inductees Cover Genre Spectrum
Ranging from pine fiddles to P-funk, this is an eclectic group of Mountain State musicians.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
West Virginia is one of the few states where the population is dropping and life expectancy is among the lowest in the country. Communities are shrinking, aging, and experiencing some of the highest opioid overdose rates in the country. According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, one of every four kids in West Virginia has experienced two or more adverse childhood experiences — a rate almost 20 percent higher than the national average. West Virginia Public Broadcasting has engaged with organizations in the Northern Panhandle region with an eye toward addressing these disparities.
The resulting program is still in its infancy. WVPB together with Ohio County Schools, Grow Ohio Valley, Oglebay Institute and several other organizations have all contributed to development and deployment Operation YURT (Youth Resilience Training): a trauma-informed, school-based, outdoor education program teaching storytelling, nutrition, and emotional intelligence.
At West Virginia Public Broadcasting we know the value of storytelling. And we aren’t the only ones. Researchers have found that deeply rooted in the human species is a need to connect, empathize, and understand each other, and that narratives are powerful and important tools which can either manipulate or harness human potential.
The programming at Operation YURT seeks to tap into the positive potential storytelling can have in a community. Identified student interests guide storytelling efforts. Community members who champion those interests are invited to be interviewed. In this way we aim to celebrate and learn from our community by tapping into and highlighting the expertise found therein.
These are some of the stories that have been produced as a result.
A Community Project
Operation YURT is a community effort to lift up youth voices. It began in 2018 when West Virginia Public Broadcasting teamed up with Grow Ohio Valley and Ohio County Schools in an eight-week, youth reporting research project, Operation TIPI (trauma-informed pilot intervention). From there, the project grew into a year-long pilot, gaining partners and support along the way:
Operation YURT (Youth Resilience Training) is a trauma-informed, school-based, outdoor education program teaching storytelling, nutrition, and emotional intelligence. The program strives to be responsive to all students, but especially those overcoming adversity.
Identified Ohio County public school students meet for a full school day once a week throughout the school year at Grow Ohio Valley’s “Lincoln Meadow.” A former site of derelict housing projects, Lincoln Meadow is now a reclaimed urban farm, complete with a spring-fed irrigation system, two high tunnels, a yurt, and intensive organic grow-beds. The site overlooks the Ohio River valley and downtown Wheeling, West Virginia.
The objective of Operation YURT is to improve academic success, wellbeing, and create a love of self and learning within student populations. One of the key ways this is accomplished is through storytelling. Students’ interests are identified, community experts in those interests are invited to visit. Students are then able to conduct and record interviews with these community members. Then, paired with an adult storyteller, they craft a story to share with their larger community.
In this way, students are exposed to expertise within their community as they develop important 21st century skills such as communication and collaboration.