Saturday, August 2, 2014

The magic and power of storytelling strike again!

After listening to stories, some kids try my drum while others choose books at ReadBoston's StoryMobile.
The magic and power of storytelling strike again! Thanks so much to a mom who took the time to write to me.  This is from the ReadBoston site at Marcella Park this week, July 30th 2014: "My daughter and I came to Marcella Park today to see your wonderful storytelling. My daughter has autism and has a lot of trouble following a spoken narrative. But your telling was so clear and engaging that she was actually able to pick out some characters and plot points, which for her is HUGE (especially with no visuals, in such a distracting setting). She's 4 and a half and she's always struggled hugely with receptive language, and she was sitting far enough away from me that I couldn't coach her through the stories, so like I said, I'm super impressed that she was able to relay any of it back. So I wanted to thank you so much for being there today and for the gift of your stories." And thanks to all at Read Boston and Samantha Sadd at Marcella park who make this work possible.

At the Boston Nature Center, August 1, 0214
This summer I mark my 16th year with the Read Boston Storymobile program. We will tell stories all over the city from July -August 16, 2015. Storytellers provide the stories and the Storymobile program provides the books, logistics and oganization, plus? They bring a brand new and free book for every child in attendance. All sites are open to the public. Here is what a day on the road with Read Boston looks like... Typically we are scheduled in three sites in one of the many Boston Neighborhoods and the sites are accessible to one another by public transport. The van will have dropped off books for the expected audience and when I arrive someone at the facility or venue will have boxes of books ready. Sometimes everyone knows where I will perform and which way the audience will be seated. The outdoor venues can be super challenging with rain, traffic noise, other camp groups and many environmental challenges as well. Back in the day, the Storymobile was an actual huge RV with bookshelves. Soon they may have a pedi-powered version. But that is just a rumor.  As you read in the quote above, while the challenges are great,  the rewards are greater. 

"The Wampanoag and NipMuc, Abenake and Narragansett..."

 This year to help with what I feel is a  lack of basic knowledge about who is an immigrant and who the Native Americans are, I have, in fine folk tradition, added some local names to the chorus of a song by the right-on folk singer, Nancy Schimmel. Appropriately, the tune Nancy Schimmel uses sounds like a tarantella. Below is a screen shot of my resources for teachers and camp counselors. 

Background: After Schools in Boston are invited to apply for ReadBoston's After School Reading Initiative. Created in 2000, ReadBoston's After School Reading Initiative has worked with over 90 after school programs throughout the city of Boston promoting reading, literature, and literacy. To accomplish this ReadBoston works closely with after school directors and staff, coaching staff to lead engaging literacy activities. These activities include reading aloud with groups of students, creating independent reading times, and promoting book-related activities. ReadBoston also purchases and develops diverse book collections in after school programs, creating inviting spaces for reading. Both school-based and community-based programs are invited to apply. Organizations may choose to apply for more than one site, but must submit separate applications for each site.

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