First International Silent Story Videos Are Out!

Learning Life is pleased to announce the release of a new silent story video series to encourage conversation and learning about international issues.  The four short videos, each linked below, feature Learning Life mentors and mentees, and signal the start of a longer-term project to develop a global silent story competition.

In line with Learning Life’s mission to spread learning and innovate education beyond school walls, Learning Life staff developed video silent short stories to creatively and collaboratively engage our youth and families in learning about international issues.  The stories are silent for two reasons: to stimulate viewer conversation about the stories’ meanings, and to allow anyone worldwide, regardless of their spoken language(s), to understand the stories.  This fall, Learning Life staff and volunteers produced four stories on issues of poverty, labor and consumption, gender inequality, and school work.  These stories featured Learning Life Mentoring Program youth and adult volunteers in the metro Washington, DC, USA as the on-screen actors.

The silent stories follow on a pilot live Global Storytelling Challenge led by Learning Life staff and featuring 7th and 8th grade students at Saint Thomas More Catholic Academy (STM) in Washington DC in fall 2018.  The students created and performed their own plays about child labor and human trafficking before an audience of fellow STM students and Learning Life volunteer storytelling judges.

“Learning Life’s silent stories offer a new, fun and interactive way to engage in learning. The kids involved really enjoyed being on camera.  Our move this year from live to video storytelling also allows us to easily post, spread and reuse the stories to ignite conversation and learning,” said Learning Life’s founder and director, Paul Lachelier.  “This was a successful test run, so we plan to create more stories next year, hopefully featuring Learning Life children in differing countries. As I said last year, we live in one world, we all like stories, and stories can change the world.”

In 2020 and beyond, Learning Life plans to produce more video stories, and collect them in a growing library of silent stories on international issues on Youtube to spur conversation and learning in families, groups and classrooms across the globe.  The long-term vision is to develop an international silent storytelling competition that engages youth and families worldwide in making their own silent stories, or stories in collaboration with youth or families in other countries.  To learn more, or get involved in future Learning Life silent stories, please contact us at

Learning Life wishes to thank the following volunteers for helping to bring these first four silent stories to fruition:

Video and story production staff: Sumona Banerji, Desmond Jordan, Paul Lachelier, Maddy McFarlane, and Noah Watters.

Story actors: Desmond Jordan, Paul & Suzanne Lachelier, James Mayo, Aubrey & Deon Saunders, Javion & Baileigh Walker.