Tell Me A Story

Tell Me A Story Service Project Series


Memphis Challenge, spanning close to three decades of inspiring and developing future Memphis leaders, has a tradition of raising awareness in ways that are creative, impactful, and student-focused.

In 2016, it was through storybooks Tell Me a Story: Service Through Storytelling.Challengers in grades 9-12 created eight storybooks and an anthology of poems inspired by the National Day of Service and wanting to leave a lasting impact that would build character in youth. Today, these students are published authors and host readings and discussions for children throughout the city.

In 2017, it was through film: Tell Me A Story: Giving Voice To the Voiceless. Challengers created three short flms, two PSAs, and two podcasts about the struggles the youth and children of Memphis face every day. Two of those films were screened last September at the Youth Indie Memphis Film Festival alongside youth short films from Memphis and abroad.

Now, in 2018, it is through art and prose that Memphis Challenge students have raised awareness and inspired others through creativity. Tell Me A Story: The Courage of Creativityis the third installment of the Tell Me A Story service project series. For this project, students created four Zines, which are grassroots, independent publications showcasing prose and art, in the same vein as a journal or a magazine. In honor of the MLK50 milestone, each Zine has a social justice issue as its theme, highlighting the struggles of the past and the hopes of the future.

The artist Henri Mattise said that creativity takes courage. Just as courage is required to be creative, courage is required to defend and advocate on behalf of others. In 2018, honoring one of history’s most profound social justice, advocates, students will use this project to defne that courage and express the beauty, the pain, and the triumph of fighting for what is right.


Memphis Challenge students in grades 9-12 used films, PSAs, and podcasts as mediums to tell stories. These stories are from students’ own voices and from their own perspectives in this new iteration of the Memphis Challenge “Tell Me a Story” service series – “Tell Me a Story: Giving Voice to the Voiceless.”


There is power in the telling of a good story. Through the project,“Tell Me a Story: Service Through Storytelling.” Memphis Challengers in grades 9-12 wrote and produced specialized storybooks and poems for children and teenagers. The project aimed to bring smiles, excitement and love of storytelling to children, as well as enrich the process of using creativity to give back for Memphis Challenge students. The Memphis Challenge story collection includes eight children’s paperback books and an anthology of poems for teens. For questions or to schedule a reading, contact Avery Cunningham at




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