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The School of Life Project - Developing Emotional Awareness

Item #: SOLP-001 | Grades K-12
Status: Up to $3,000 Grants Available!

The School of Life Project - a cutting-edge educational initiative aimed at raising the emotional I.Q. and self-awareness of students.

Kids and teens are only young once, and then these moments are gone forever. Capture them.

Up to $3,000 Grants Available! You can recieve up to a $3,000 Grant to help cover the initial set up fee for the Storycatcher Video Journal Kiosk. Contact us at [email protected] to request a grant application.

“Beyond love, shelter, food and security, perhaps one of the greatest gifts we can give a child is a sense of emotional awareness. Even as adults we recognize and yet can still struggle with the puzzling psychological, familial and instinctive forces that influence our choices and ultimately the course of our lives.

Throughout the course of this project, we’ve found that there is nothing more empowering than to give our youth the ability to move from victim to master of those mysterious forces and to realize that they are, and can be, the authors of their own lives.” - Rick Stevenson, Director/Founder

How it Works

Once a year, kids scan a “ticket” to unlock an automated and completely private video interview at the Storycatcher located in a private location at school. The Storycatcher is a Video Journal Kiosk composed of a custom built, mounted iPad and a professional lighting system that records high-definition video of students.

Age-specific interviews, which have been carefully crafted through over ten years of research and experience, take around 30 minutes to complete, and after the last question, the video footage is securely stored on the Cloud. If at any time the questions raise feelings and the student would like to talk to someone, they can push a button to bring in a counselor.

In the final year, the student is given video clips of themselves, forming a 'time capsule' that they can securely watch and share with family and others - if they choose to do so.

"Even if you can’t save time in a bottle, The School of Life Project captured something just as precious: the little girl giggle-stories, the pre-teen insights, and the adolescent angst and thoughtfulness of my (now) young-adult daughter. Watching her ups, downs, trials and joys stream together on video still brings tears to my eyes when I see it. I can only imagine what it will mean to her future children when she chooses to show them.” S.M.

Bringing the School of Life Project to your school can:
  • Help educate the total child and build self-awareness
  • Help kids set goals and make better choices
  • Realize a large return of emotional self-awareness and growth on a very small investment
  • Be financially self sustaining through annual fees to participating families

For Teachers

The School of Life Video Journal Project acknowledges that teachers are on the front line of helping their kids become more self-aware. Hopefully, the Video Journal will be one tool that can help teachers in that endeavor because:
  • Our approach acknowledges just how thinly spread all staff members—especially teachers—are in managing all of the challenges.
  • The Storycatcher kiosk manages the process in a hands-off and efficient manner.
  • Participation takes virtually no time from teachers other than helping to introduce the opportunity to their kids and allowing them the 20-40 minutes necessary each year to create their Video Journal entries.

Research-based development of the Video Journal Kiosk

Over 13 years and thousands of interviews have gone into developing the question sets for the kiosk. We have worked in tandem with leading scientists in the field, such as Dr. John Medina. We also developed the product with the help of Blink, a user-experience firm in Seattle who helps streamline products so that they are easy to use “right out of the box.”

For Kids and Teens


The School of Life Video Journal gives you the chance to say exactly what you feel about yourself and the world around you. Only you have access to your recordings.

Once a year, kids scan a “ticket” to unlock an automated and completely private video interview. Kids wil answer questions guided by a recorded video interviewer for around 30 minutes and after the last question, the video footage is securely stored on the Cloud. If the child or teen wants to talk to a real person during the interview, they just click a button to alert a counselor.

For Parents & Guardians


The School of Life Project can help kids understand the intellectual, emotional, social and physical forces at work within them and assist in having them make more informed choices. By asking a series of questions and recording the answers, our Video Journals provide an outlet where kids can fully express themselves in a safe setting, encouraging them to verbalize everything they are feeling. Create an opportunity to increase your children’s emotional I.Q. by helping them become more self-aware.

And at the end, you’ll have video clips forming a priceless 'time capsule' of your child’s life.

Starting as early as age four, students get the opportunity to record themselves once a year responding to a series of questions posed via a computer-automated interview. Their answers are then safely stored.

What you and your child get:

• One computerized interview a year and safe, secure storage.

• Upon graduation from eighth grade, participants are then given a file containing a video of their interviews.

Video Data Security - Files are offloaded via secure Wi-Fi connection to a secure Amazon Web Services S3 account immediately after recording. Files are offloaded in “slices” and reassembled on the server side, so there is zero risk of viewable video being intercepted via Internet hacking. More data security information is here

Pricing The one time setup and installation of the Storycatcher kiosk at your school is $4,995. There are up to $3,000 grants available to bring the investment cost down to $1,995.

An annual license for each student is $20 with a 250 student minimum. The license is for the safe storage of the video content each student creates. Some smaller schools share the portable Storycatcher kiosk to lower the set up cost and to reach the minimum license requirement. Contact us for details on cost savings ideas at [email protected]

Fundraising ideas At only $20/student (250 students minimum), much less than the price of student class photos, you can offset the costs of the annual fee by charging fees for this service to participating families. You can use this as a fundraising opportunity to support other school activities or to support families that cannot afford the service. Contact us for creative ways to fund The School of Life Project for your students.

Roles of teachers, parents, IT staff and administrative assistants While the real work is between the child and the Storycatcher, there are roles of others to ensure the Storycatcher is set up properly and the child is here

School of Life Example

Issaquah School District in Washington is a great example of The School of Life Project in action. Visit their website to see how they’ve integrated the School of Life Project Video Journals and curriculum into their educational system.

About The School of Life Project and Founder Rick Stevenson

In 2001, filmmaker Rick Stevenson set out to make a documentary series. His plan was to interview 60 children in the Seattle area annually for 13 years and ask each one a series of questions that would reveal what it’s like to grow up in America today. The project expanded into ten countries and transformed into The School of Life Project.

What Stevenson has witnessed over the years is much more profound and sobering than even the growth of a child. In nearly every interview, he has experienced firsthand the vulnerability and challenges that face kids and the isolation they feel during their teenage years. As sobering as the interviews have been, they have also been promising.

Educators who have screened the resulting films have noticed three patterns among teens:
  • By being asked to be self-analytical at the least self-analytical time of their lives, participants began to process all that was happening to them in a much healthier way. Instead of being victims of their problems, they were more likely to become masters of them.
  • No matter what a child’s background, natural gifts, and experiences, each and every child feels terribly alone when faced with the challenges of growing up.
  • When children have the opportunity to see the stories of The School of Life Project, they realize they’re not alone in their fears and insecurities, giving them encouragement and support in the challenges they face.

    "We believe that every child is legendary, and we believe that kids and teens have within themselves the keys to unlocking their own futures in the face of myriad external pressures and expectations. We believe, in fact, that kids are their own best authors of their lives, and that learning to tell their own stories as they run the gauntlet of adolescence is a vital means of helping kids find themselves before they lose themselves."

    The Mission: The School of Life Project empowers kids to unleash the potential of their own stories into their own lives.

    learn more and contact information Find out more about The School of Life Project and how you can participate at their website, https://theschooloflifeproject.org/
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