In 1997, a group of young film students learned that Los Angeles public schools were cutting creative arts programs from the budget. Knowing the value arts-education held in their own lives, they created a volunteer-based creative arts program they could take directly into public schools at no cost to the school. In 2003, this program became a 501c3 Non Profit Organization. Today, we serve students in Elementary, Middle, and High Schools, and in a Foster Care Center. We also run summer camps, workshops, and other special programming around Los Angeles and New York City.
The Young Storytellers Foundation develops literacy through the art of storytelling. Using group exercises and one-on-one mentoring, we provide under-served children in the public school system an opportunity to write stories and see them brought to life through live performance or film production. Our mission is to inspire children to discover the power of their own voice.
At the core of our programming are thousands of adult volunteers who donate their time to mentor individual students and perform their works on stage and film. When individuals from the entertainment industry step into public school classrooms to work with students, a critical gap between communities and the businesses that operate within their borders is bridged. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our volunteer teaching artists, we are able to provide more than $2 of programming for every $1 raised. Since YSF’s inception, our trained volunteers have donated more than $3 million of in-kind instruction to public school students.
Each year, we provide programming to approximately 1,000 students in the greater Los Angeles and New York City areas. Nearly 5,000 students attended the public performances of the work written by these talented children. 100% of students in our programs complete a finished script and see it performed.