From student story slams to community circle up's and workshops, we spark conversations to help people to think and talk differently about what really matters.


In partnership with our school-based student leadership teams, we plan, design, and convene student-teacher-community forums, some as small as a dozen participants and others exceeding 100.


  • Community forums may include open-mic "story slams" where volunteers, one at a time, share personal 4-min stories of powerful learning.  

  • "Circle up's" facilitate more intimate small group reflection and dialogue (sense-making), while inviting a “call to action” – steps short or long in stride that participants are committed to taking as a result of their experience. 

  • Workshops target educators and students interested in learning our strength-based, inquiry-driven, story-seeking methods, merging the best of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and Restorative Justice tools for convening powerful conversations in and out of the classroom.


Social-emotional bonds are the backbone of student attendance and engagement in school, strengthening student commitment to learning – academic achievement not just for themselves but for the broader community wherein they’ll feel a greater sense of belonging and connection.  In applying Learning401 to Restorative Practice, where traditional disciplinary systems immediately remove students from school, and in some cases place them in the hands of law enforcement, our community conversations foster student-teacher-family exchanges to both restore and strengthen relationships, elevate awareness and understanding of behavior impact, and honor the role of accountability and empathy in restoring the relationships that are essential to keeping kids in school and on a path to success.


The stories we choose to tell [of the past] shape our images of what's possible [for the future]. What story would you tell? And what does that story teach us about powerful learning in your area code? Join us at an upcoming slam event or community exchange and prepare to be inspired - and to inspire.  [Note: no public speaking or open mic experience required!]


We capture it, study it, share it, and inspire more of a good thing.

being the change we want to see in education
open mic storytelling

Learning happens everywhere and shows up in many forms, the most familiar (and tested) is academic learning.  Equally important is social and emotional learning.  


Education activist/philosopher, John Dewey, believed that the purpose of education is not just to gain content knowledge, but also to learn how to live, CONTEXT – making friends, freely sharing ideas, imagining solutions to real challenges facing society.


Dewey also argued that our most sacred freedoms are preserved not by voting, but by effective engagement and communication among citizens (like us!), experts (like educators and students!), and elected officials of government.


These beliefs drive what we do and why it matters.


education is living, not preparation for life




Given the aspirations and key interests shared in the live forums above, Learning401 is helping expand school networks and resources for connecting students/teachers to their larger community and the many career pathway partnerships therein.  In addition to bringing our vast and loyal network of partners to local RI schools we afford opportunities for students and teachers to go to them - and have been known to bring buses of area students to nearby summits and conferences in ways that further elevate student voice. 


Our aim: to nurture curiosity in both teachers and students by key areas of interest, such as science, culinary/food/urban farming, art, music, entrepreneurship, and design.


Interested in mentoring our student body? Contact us!



More than a forum of inspiration and connection, storytelling is an effective medium for conducting research, providing data for (not just “of”) powerful learning. Where permissible, and where possible in partnership with local student media teams, we capture evidence of our work (stories, testimonials, etc.) on video to populate our digital database.  Using narrative transcription tools made possible by our partnerships with local universities and colleges, key words and phrases are “meta-tagged” and made searchable, turning qualitative (narrative) data quantitative and measurable.  


Learning401 research is designed consistent with Brown University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements to ensure integrity in research quality, while protecting the best interests of research participants.  



More than building bridges and restoring relationships, Learning401 exchanges foster belonging, keeping students in school and accountable for powerful learning for themselves and those around them.


Long-term, we envision our searchable, digital database as a crowd-sourced TED-like archive (albeit more raw and unrehearsed, and featuring the voices most impacted by public education yet all too often absent from the conversation), while also informing local/municipal/state education policy.


Learning401 partners with RI schools and municipal bodies to collect data pertaining to live forums, mentor matchups, and other forms of engagement as a means of measuring impact. Community impact is coordinated with school evaluation teams and examines:

  • Increases in student self-confidence

  • Changes in student attendance

  • Changes in student engagement

  • Frequency of delinquency and severity of disciplinary action

  • Participation in peer-to-peer mentor match-ups, tutoring, and various social-emotional programs

  • Degree of emotional engagement

  • School Value Assessments (SVA) to baseline and measure culture change in a manner that is qualitative and quantitative