Friday, May 4, 2007

Jordan-Miller - story telling

Well, this session just wrapped up and I have to admit that while I started with my computer on my lap typing away, I soon closed the lid and just enjoyed listening and participating in the program. Beth Galloway began the program by explaining about a grant that she received that would allow for the development of a program to introduce the art of storytelling to middle school students. I know, I know... you are thinking that story telling is only for little children. But lets be honest about what story telling really is...It is public speaking! If we can make teenager more comfortable speaking in front of a group this will ultimately make them more comfortable in front of a classroom doing an oral presentation and eventually in front of a business meeting.

Tony Toledo, a professional storyteller, grabbed our attention with a couple stories of his own. He began by telling us that he had just had his wisdom teeth out. While that may no sound so interesting in this blog...well you should hear him tell it! It just proves that any subject can be used to tell an just depends on how you tell it. When he had a group of adults envisioning his wife wearing his wisdom teeth as earrings..."as the only pair of $800 earring he will ever give her" the group was not only laughing but sold on the importance of storytelling at any age.

As an audience, we also got into the action by participating in one of the icebreakers used in the program. First we were instructed to tell the person next a story about "how we got one of our scars". Wow, does this open up many wonderful stories. Some of the audience even shared their stories with the group. Another suggestion for icebreakers was to have the students tell a story about how they got their name.

The highlight of the meeting was a young man named Arjun who attended the program in Chelmsford. He shared his appreciation for the program and how this program has made him more confident (These benefits cannot be ignored in this age group that notoriously suffers from extremely low self-esteem and identity issues). And then he told his story. If you can picture this group of 30-40 librarians being enthralled by one young boy telling his blended fairytale about a pig named Jack who climbs a beanstalk and rescues a sleepy but beautiful pig...then you will have envisioned only a small picture of this session. He was animated, funny, articulate, and creative. And the reason that this program exists. I could see the pride in the face of his librarian, as well as Beth...who initiated this program.

So, I may not have every note from this session but I have tried to capture just part of the magic that happens when you introduce such a powerful medium for sharing to a new generation. While I feel like the bulk of this conference has been stressing technology (and I have learned a lot in that department), I was glad to see a low tech program that brings us back to our human roots.

I would encourage any young adult librarian or media specialist to ask Beth about this program.

1 comment:

Beth Gallaway said...

Wow, Susan! Thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoyed this session!