Story Chain strengthens family bonds


Project preserves mom’s story

By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com



Michele Arledge at the You-Turn drug court in February.

Michele Arledge at the You-Turn drug court in February.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — A mother is striving to ensure that her story of struggles and accomplishments are fully known by her child.

Michele Arledge of Wilmington is working with the non-profit group Story Chain to leave her “memoirs” to her child.

She was introduced to Story Chain by way of the Talbert House, through Tommy Koopman from the Mental Health Recovery Board of Warren and Clinton County, according to Story Chain executive director Jonathan Platt.

According to their website — story-chain.org — the group “connects the incarcerated with their children through community outreach, literacy intervention, and audio technology.”

This has expanded to other parts of communities such as youth services, senior homes, and mental health facilities.

“When I asked Talbert House if they have any potential clients for Story Chain’s Strength in Place Initiative, Michele was the first name offered,” said Platt. “The first time we met she invited me to her courtroom meeting with Judge (John “Tim”) Rudduck.”

Platt told the News Journal that Arledge plans to recite moments in her life for her daughter, which Story Chain will record.

“This is unlike the jail and prison population for another reason: incarcerated folks are not encouraged to tell their own stories — this can violate victim’s rights,” said Platt. “Michele’s daughter is in her 20s and has never heard about the trauma her mother endured as a child. Michele intends to tell her through our program.”

While using her own words, Story Chain hired writer Heidi Arnold — an English Professor from Sinclair Community College and author — to help create the script for Michele to read.

Arledge had successfully completed the You-Turn drug court in May. She was admitted to drug court after she overdosed in the lobby of a church.

She had completed an intervention-in-lieu-of-conviction plan as a component of her drug court requirements, as well as programs at Talbert House where she’s been over a year, and she has passed over 100 drug screenings.

Story Chain worked in Clinton County previously. In 2019, Story Chain had given an MP3 player to Madison Payne of Blanchester which contained hours of recordings from her late mother, Erin.

Michele Arledge at the You-Turn drug court in February.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_michelle_c.jpgMichele Arledge at the You-Turn drug court in February. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal
Project preserves mom’s story

By John Hamilton

jhamilton@wnewsj.com

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574