Q. What is the difference between the Guestbook and the Create Program?
The Guestbook gives visitors the opportunity to write brief comments about their hero and to add an image. The Create Program gives visitors the opportunity to build a Web page about their hero with text, images and links, audio and short films.Teachers can register for an educator account and then give students access to a class code so all student work can be reviewed and published together a directory of all published student MY HERO Media Arts Projects. (Art, Films, Audio and Essays.)
Q. Why doesn't my entry show up in the Guestbook right away?
All entries submitted to the MY HERO Guestbook are reviewed by staff and then activated.
We will not post content that promotes hatred, violence, racism or sexism. Our mission is to use media, art and technology to celebrate the best of humanity. The guestbook is a place to share stories of hope and inspiration.
Q. How are inappropriate Guestbook entries screened and prevented from being launched live?
We review each entry before we activate it to make sure it is appropriate.
Q. What kinds of entries are deleted from the Guestbook?
Entries that contain swearing, and promote violence and hatred. Sometimes the staff will delete personal information such as last names and birthdates to protect someone's identity.
Q. What is the purpose of the Guestbook?
The Guestbook is an interactive journal designed for students to post brief entries to honor their hero.
Create a MY HERO Story
Q. What is the timeline for activating essays once they have been submitted to MY HERO?
Although staff often activates stories within hours or a day, please plan to allow approximately two weeks for essays to be activated and launched live on the site. Our staff edits approximately 5,000 essays a year and, on occasion, they all seem to come in at once. However, if you require your stories to be activated sooner due to an important deadline, please notify MY HERO through an email message and we will be happy to accommodate you.
Q. Do you suggest using the Create template to draft an essay or do you recommend writing an essay and saving it as a Word doc first?
We encourage students to keep a record of their work by drafting their essays and saving them in a Word doc, and then to copy and paste them into the Create template.
Q. Can MY HERO provide me with support in teaching English as a foreign language?
Yes, we provide several resources that may help you. In the Create program, many of our stories have been recorded on Audio so that students can read along. Several of our stories have been translated into Spanish and French are found in our Selected Stories for students.
Q. Can my students write their stories in a language other than English?
We accept stories written in Spanish and French only at this time. However, we are happy to receive stories written in another language if the students' English translations have been provided in the text of their stories. We also require that the teacher review each one as appropriate for readers of all ages. This method is also useful for English-speaking students when learning to write in another language.
Maori and French
Q. Is there a way to review my students` work before it is submitted?
Students can write their stories and print their work for teachers to review prior to submission. Then they can copy and paste their stories into the Create program. Teachers should create a class code for students to use when registering so students are connected to their teacher.
Q. What do I do if we run into technical problems using the Create Program?
We are here to support all teachers and students who use this free, collaborative project in their classroom. Please click on our Help prompt at the bottom of the MY HERO homepage. If the tutorials and resources provided do not answer your questions, we provide you with an email address and our Bug Report form to let us know how we can help you.
If you are a teacher or student, please provide the school name, teacher's name, student's registered name and the name of the hero.
You will be asked to be as specific as possible and to include URLs as well as whether you were using Windows or Mac, and what web browser (ID, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc) was used.
Q. If my student discovers an error after the story is submitted, is it too late to make a change?
Not at all. We will be happy to return the story. When the corrections have been made, the story can be resubmitted and we will reactivate it.
Q. What is your policy on protecting students' privacy when writing personal stories?
MY HERO editors will remove the birth dates of living private persons. We will not publish stories that express anything hurtful to a private person.
Q. Some of my students are not sure which Hero Section to choose for their heroes.
The Directory of Stories under Content tab on the homepage has short, helpful descriptions of each type of hero.
Q. How should we use your Bibliography?
The Bibliography is an excellent place to include books, periodicals, personal interviews, and encyclopedia articles if used as research for their story. In order to learn citation standards, some teachers instruct their students to provide their resource information (Work Cited) at the end of their last story paragraph or in the bibliography.
Q. What are your standards for resource websites?
We will accept only links that contain appropriate content that supports and clarifies the hero story.
Q. Will all stories be accepted?
MY HERO will accept stories about personal or public heroes who inspire us with the best of humanity, as well as thoughtful essays discussing the theme of heroism. MY HERO will not accept stories that contain hatred, intolerance or gratuitous violence. All stories must be in a student's own writing.
Q. How will I know if my story has been published?
The writer will receive an automated Thank You letter that contains the active story link. Once the story has been activated, it can be searched by hero name in the MY HERO database. Be sure to use the exact name of your hero as you entered it in your story page (John F. Kennedy or John Kennedy will bring up different search titles). You may also search your story under the name you registered with.
Q. How do you check a student`s essay for plagiarism?
Is we think a check is needed, we will copy/paste certain sentences of the student's essay into the Google search engine and see what comes up.
Q. When do you check a student`s essay for plagiarism?
We will check for plagiarism if the writing is "suitable for publishing." We also check when the student's writing seems a little "different" in some places, perhaps not the in the usual style found in the introductory and concluding paragraphs. We are happy to accept published sentences, or even a small paragraph, if the work is properly credited to its original source and if the majority of the essay is in the student's own words. What we like best, though, is when the writer describes how a hero inspires him or her personally.
Q. Can my students create their essays on my Organizer page?
Your students will need to create their essays using the
Create Program. The Organizer is a tool for educators to group their students' stories on a showcase webpage.
Q. How do you determine who wins a T-shirt Prize?
The MY HERO staff reviews every essay submitted to the site and selects essays that are not only well-written, but also speak to the heart of both the writer and the reader.
Q. How do you notify students that their essays have been chosen for a T-Shirt prize?
We notify the student through the email address provided in the story registration. If it is the student address, we will copy the teacher as well if the teacher has registered as an Educator.
Q. Can I print a story before it's been approved?
No - in order to protect MY HERO. We must review and approve content with our logo. Once your story is approved, you are welcome to print and share it.
Q. How can registered guests add text to their original artwork?
Using the Create program, student and professional artists can upload their original artwork to submit. There is a place for text to be added to the page.
Q. What kinds of hero images are appropriate for the Gallery?
Original portraits of personal or community heroes and/or depictions of heroic events make excellent hero art subjects. In addition, artworks that symbolize the characteristics of heroism that we all admire (i.e., extraordinary courage, responsibility for another, consideration for the planet) are also acceptable.
Q. When can I view my hero art online in the Gallery?
After the Gallery Curator has reviewed your art entries and approved them for online exhibition.
Q. Can I upload more than one artwork for exhibition?
Yes, as long as your work is original.
Q. Can I create my original art directly on the MY HERO Gallery Create template?
At this time, you will need to upload a JPEG or a TIFF or a GIF to add your original art to the Gallery. There is no program to actually compose art on the MY HERO Web site at this time. Use your digital camera or scanner or Adobe Photoshop program to add your art to the Gallery.
Q. How do I access the database of MY HERO Virtual Gallery art?
BROWSE at the top of the Gallery page to see a menu by medium, artist, etc. Film Festival
Q. How do I submit a film to the Short Film Festival?
A. Visit the MY HERO Film Festival submit page:
Then fill out the form and supply a link to your film from vimeo or youtube.
Students can apply for a fee waiver.
Check for deadlines for special awards. [email protected] The Sylvia Earle Ocean Award is given on World Oceans Day June 8th, 2023
The deadline for submitting a short film for this award is May 1, 2023.
Here are more film festival details.
Q. Does my film have to be about a hero?
No. You can make a film about the concept of heroism as well.
Q. Can I send you a movie longer than ten minutes?
Yes, you can, but please be aware that MY HERO may ask you to re-edit your project, take a smaller section of it, or split it into two parts for use on the website. We ask that submissions be ten minutes or less due to bandwidth constraints.
Q. If all of my students each want to submit a film, do I have to send in an entry fee for every one of them?
MY HERO is happy to waive fees for students ~ please email us directly at
to receive a code. [email protected]
Q. Will MY HERO accept films in a language other than English?
Yes, if you also submit a version with English subtitles.
Q. How can MY HERO be integrated into my classroom curriculum?
Lesson Plans are available in the Teachers Room under the Educator tab, to assist you in integrating MY HERO in the curriculum of many subjects. The Teachers Room features stories, art, short films, and audio organized by both grade level and subject/theme. The Guestbook is a program where students can give a short shout-out to their favorite heroes and the Forum can provide a platform for thoughtful discussion in the meaning of heroism. The Forum provides a way for students to share their thoughts on particular discussion subjects.
Students can share Stories, Art, and Film that celebrate their personal heroes using the Create Program..
The Organizer tool is used by teachers to showcase and share their students' finished work. It can also be a helpful tool for teachers to use for organizing a MY HERO display of content on the website for theme-related lessons in a variety of subjects - environment, peace, science, etc.
Teachers can work on and share projects with other teachers through participation in the MY HERO Learning Circles , a great example of collaboration with our partner iEARN.
Q. When can I sign up for the Learning Circle?
There are two sessions each year: September to January and January to May. Please visit the MY HERO Teacher's Room Community tab and click on Learning Circle to see the upcoming dates.
Q. Can MY HERO provide me with support in teaching English as a foreign language?
Yes, we provide several resources that may help you. In the Create program, many of our stories have been recorded on Audio so that students can read along. Several of our stories have been translated into Spanish, French and Chinese and are found in our Selected Stories for students. Please let us know if you require any other assistance at [email protected]
Q. Can I "un-archive" a class project?
Yes - if you accidentally archived a class or need to re-enable an old class code / class project, we can assist. Please contact
[email protected] and include your username, school name, the name of the class you need enabled, and the reason for your request. Please allow 5 business days for us to process your request. Organizer
Q. May I have students write their stories in my Organizer page?
Students must write their stories in the Create program so that they will be searchable in our archive of stories. The Organizer tool is for collecting and displaying of finished content only.
Q. How do I create an index page of content on MY HERO?
Register for an Educator Account for access to the Organizer page. A step-by-step online tutorial is available to guide you in building your Organizer page. The Organizer is a tool that allows you to create a customized index page of your students` MY HERO essays, artwork and short films so students can share their work with their classmates and families. Your Organizer page can also be linked to your school Web site or classroom page. Partners may use it to share their nonprofit work with others.
Q. Why would I want to use the Organizer program?
The Organizer is a tool that allows you to create a customized index page of your students` MY HERO essays, artwork and short films so students can share their work with their classmates and families. Your Organizer page can also be linked to your school Web site or classroom page.
Q. What do I do if I forget my password?
. [email protected]
Q. Who do I contact if I am having difficulties using the Organizer program?
Email your question(s) to
. [email protected]
Q. Why would a student`s completed hero essay not come up when I do a search?
Completed and incomplete essays are kept in our "Unsubmitted Folder" with a pending code until students click on "Submit" to officially submit their work for review and activation by the MY HERO staff. Essays in the "Unsubmitted Folder" can only be accessed by the author with his/her username and password. Another possiblity is that the spelling or name variation might be a factor. Calista Pierce will not be found if the name is under Calista M. Pierce.
Q. How do you decide which book comments to activate?
We activate comments submitted by guests who have read the specific book and would like to share their reviews.
Q. Do you ever publish negative book comments?
Yes, if they are not mean spirited and they are thoughtfully written.
Q. Does the Library sell books from its collection?
No. MY HERO recommends that you visit your local library or bookstore to check-out or purchase a book.
Q. Will you accept suggestions for books I think would be welcomed by your website?
You are welcome to use our Suggest a Book prompt on the home page of our Library. Please keep in mind that content should be appropriate for all ages.
Q. How do you choose what news stories to feature on the homepage?
MY HERO chooses Christian Science Monitor stories that feature heroes around the world, as well as stories based on heroic themes and works.
Q. Are there other Forum topics besides "How Do We Choose Our Heroes?"
Yes. If you scroll to the bottom of the Forum page, you will find other featured topics.
Q. Are Forum entries posted live?
Entries are sent to a holding folder for staff to review. The staff regularly reviews entries and activates all appropriate entries.
Q. How are inappropriate Forum entries screened and prevented from being launched live?
All Forum submissions, as well as all work submitted to MY HERO, is reviewed by a staff member prior to publication on the website.
Q. What kinds of entries are screened/deleted from the Forum?
Entries that contain swearing, and/or promote violence and hatred.
Q. Can I access the Create, Gallery and Audio programs using my Educator Account?
Yes. You may also access the Organizer tool to build index pages of your students` work.
Q. I teach at two institutions and wish to use The MY HERO Project for both institutions. Do I need to get an account for each institution, or can I use one account for both?
We would prefer that each school be registered separately under your name so that we can establish the correct information unique to that school. However, if this causes you any difficulty, we would be glad to work with on this.
Q. When will I know if my registration request has been accepted?
Your account will be approved once it has been reviewed by a staff member as having the standard information needed, and that you are a teacher at your school and not a student (or spam). Once approved, a letter will be sent to your email address containing the directions to help you get started. Once you have finished your project, you will be asked to fill out a Post-Survey to let us know about your experience.
Q. My school district has some restrictions on releasing private information about our students. Will MY HERO allow for some privacy restrictions and oversight?
Although we always have our visitors' privacy concerns in mind, please let us know if you need specific care in this regard. As a matter of policy, we remove all birth dates and any negative reference to private citizens. The story credit line in the Create program will automatically catch the first name and town provided in the students' registrations and will display them in the Add/Edit Credit line. This information can easily be edited, if needed, by the student or teacher. All stories not selected for featuring (T-Shirt Prizes) will be found under the Guests Stories tab when searching the hero name.
Q. Will my account ever expire?
Accounts will remain on file. However, if your account is more than a few years old, your account may have been suspended in order to ascertain that your information is still current. If your information is the same and you still wish to keep your original username and password to access older content such as classroom Organizer pages, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
All submissions must be the students` own, original work. MY HERO will not knowingly exhibit any work that has been plagiarized or reproduced from another website or from any other source. MY HERO will not exhibit any work that promotes hatred, violence or prejudice. All work must be appropriate for all age viewers, including students and children.The student will give MY HERO non-exclusive rights in all media, solely for educational use.
Q. Should my students register through the Educators tab?
No. Please advise students to register as students in the registration
link on the MY HERO homepage. The Teacher's Room is reserved for Educators only, including the Organizer page. Exceptions may be made for college students.
Q. Is an Educator Account registration different than a Student registration?
Yes. Only Educators will have access to the Organizer page.
Q. How do I register?
Teachers should register for an Educator Account through the Teacher's Room, or from the homepage START menu - Teachers. You will be asked for some details about you and your school. The complete name of your school is preferred (rather than initials, or the school district name, if possible). You will also be asked a few Pre-Survey questions. After you have completed your school page, you will also be asked to provide us with a short Post-Survey which will help us continue to improve this FREE project-based resource in order to better serve you and other teachers.
Q. What does MY HERO provide to partners?
We provide an online platform for organizations to share their work with our large international viewership of teachers, students and other viewers
Q. Who qualifies to be a partner to MY HERO?
MY HERO welcomes nonprofit organizations of all sizes, nationalities and subjects that celebrate the best of humanity across the spectrum of the environment, community work, science, art and music. A partnership is very much like an Educator Account for teachers, but with details that are specific to your organization rather than to a formal classroom environment.
Q. How do I become a partner?
We invite you to become a Partner by registering at the Start program. Once you have submitted information about you and your organization, we will review and then approve your account.
Q. Should my participants also register through the Educators tab?
No. Please advise your participants to register as students though the Participate tab, or in the registration box on the MY HERO homepage. The Teacher's Room is reserved for Educators only, including the Organizer page. Exceptions may be made for college students.