How can tomorrow’s leaders learn empathy today?

Stories break down barriers and shatter stereotypes. They build curiosity and community, starting in the classroom.

You can help young people forge deep connections, fight social isolation, and become powerful forces for change.

Adolescent loneliness has increased in 36 countries worldwide and doubled in English-speaking countries.1

Stories combat loneliness and motivate youth to make positive changes in their communities.

We create connections and combat isolation through the power of art, education, and action

What we do

Help students, community leaders and teachers build authentic connections

Where we work

Classrooms, communities, student clubs,
after-school programs, and more

How we help

Story exchanges, professional development, curriculum tools, and more

How we do it

Story Exchange

Students deserve to know their voices, actions, and lives matter. With our story exchanges, they will.

The Artists Network

Storytelling changes lives. These artists prove it. Writers, musicians, and visual artists share stories about their creative lives and help students cultivate their own.

Learning Resources

Discover how to broaden perspectives, foster connections, and inspire creativity through our expert-approved methods and educational tools.

Civic Engagement

Students follow their passion and, with institutional support, focus on local and global civic engagement projects, especially in their communities.

94% of story exchange students become motivated to make a positive change

Independent studies from Yale University2 and the University of Chicago3 confirm what we’ve always believed: Story exchanges change lives. According to these studies, students experienced:

Increased levels of cultural competency and classroom engagement

Improved communication skills and decreased intraschool conflict

Positive relationships between students and teachers

Our reach




School partners



I helped launch Narrative 4 seven years ago in Chicago. It was hard to know where it would go, how fast it would grow, and how much it would be needed. But I believe then as I do now in the power of stories to shape and change the world.

Sting, N4 Music Chair

Narrative 4 is not here to change your mind. N4 tells us, ‘You can hold on to the integrity of your beliefs and understand somebody else’s at the same time.

Mary Slone, Educator, United States

There you are, laid bare, no mask, no finery,
just your story as simple or complicated as it may be.
What this story exchange taught me is that pain is universal, so is love.

Winnie Ahupa, National Story Exchange Participant, N4 Nigeria
Featured articles
  • Article Ethical ELA, Aug 15, 2021

    Using Storytelling for Trauma-Informed Pedagogy During COVID and Beyond

    Dr. Leslie Burns explores how narrative strategies support students’ need for community and connection.

  • Video YouTube, Sep 02, 2020

    Synchronicity: A Celebration of Art, Empathy, and Action

    Get to know Narrative 4 through the stories of our students, educators, and artists!

Create connections, share stories, join our movement

Schools nationwide are fighting isolation
and fostering connection through the power of storytelling.

Join our
worldwide community

Join our global network and show your support
for our student-led, artist-inspired