Project Lighten: Teaching Storytelling at Indian Creek Elementary

Written by

Paa Coss Group Creative Director |

Jan 16, 2017 · 3-minute read

At BrightHouse, we often work with global organizations to help them find a more meaningful role in the world. This Fall, BrightHouse created an opportunity to play a meaningful role in our own local community by teaching a class on Storytelling at Indian Creek Elementary School.


At BrightHouse, our purpose is to discover true light in the world, so we founded an internal social impact initiative called Project Lighten and tasked ourselves with the question: How will we love the world today? An all-house survey showed that our company had a deep passion to give back to our local community by working with organizations that benefit youth and education.

We believe that purpose lies at the intersection of one’s talents and a need in the world that one can fulfill. So we first looked introspectively to learn about our unique strengths. We are fortunate to have many creative talents represented individually – we are poets, photographers, home chefs, doodlers, and more. And as a company, we are all thinkers and storytellers.

Next, we looked externally to learn about the needs of our community. Indian Creek Elementary is one of the largest elementary schools in DeKalb County, with an extremely diverse student population representing approximately 40 different countries. We learned that the students here have a need for additional creative programming.

President and CCO Cathy Carlisi with a student from Indian Creek Elementary
President and CCO Cathy Carlisi with a student from Indian Creek Elementary.

To address this gap, we decided to host a Storytelling Workshop for the 5th grade class at Indian Creek Elementary. On Oct 11th, BrightHouse showed up with the students’ favorite snacks and specially-designed story booklets; we had the chance to work intimately with 140 students to help them tell their personal and family narratives.

Two students with the storytelling booklet we designed
Two students with the storytelling booklet we designed.

We learned from Bruce Feiler, NYT Family columnist, author, and one of our Luminaries, that children who know and can tell their family narratives grow up to be more resilient. We used our talents to provide an outlet for their creative expressions, helping them feel more comfortable and confident in telling their own stories. We were so humbled by this opportunity to create a small but meaningful impact in the lives of this bright, young generation, and we look forward to continuing this partnership with Indian Creek Elementary!

The BrightHouse Team posing after our storytelling workshop
The BrightHouse Team posing after our storytelling workshop.

A special shout-out to our service partner, Paint Love, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting artists with other nonprofits for a positive impact on youth!

And look for more information about our community impact here at BrightHouse on the blog. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest insights on purpose.

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