Our school participated in a residency with Storytelling Arts. During that time, we had the benefit of professional storytellers for multiple classroom visits with specific classes of students. Students were introduced to the art of storytelling and as a result cultivated a deeper appreciation for literature. I was impressed by the improvement we noted in verbal and nonverbal skills as the students participated in carefully constructed story related activities. Also, the residencies were tailored to fit the curriculum standards and unique needs of the classroom of students.
I attended an event sponsored by Storytelling Arts. It was a great opportunity to learn more about this incredible organization and the student populations they serve. As I listened to the folk tales and myths told by their storytellers I began to realize how important such an opportunity is for our at-risk youth who will certainly be able to recognize stories from their own lives as they are engaged in listening and discussing with the storytellers. The programs of Storytelling Arts can be tied to poetry, reading, and creative writing. What a wonderful way to reach our youth and improve literacy!
I've seen unreachable kids react to the storytellers brought into youth detention centers and special ed classrooms. SAI's programs are uniquely effective at boosting literacy, social skills, and self esteem in at-risk youth.
I was able to experience some of what the professionals of Storytelling Arts can do in action during their "Girl Power" time at the Bridge To The Arts summer camp where I was also a counselor. Under the direction of two master storytellers and teaching artists, the GIRL POWER campers brought stories to life through visual art, photography, and poetry writing. "Girl Power" provided girls ages 11 - 13 with the ability to shine as storytellers, while developing confidence and creativity. The campers came away with more confidence in their abilities to not only tell stories, but also interact with others in general.