Storytelling 102: Children’s Oral Storytelling Workshop

Workshop Presenter - Laverne Amponsah
Workshop Presenter – Laverne Amponsah

It was another wonderful day in the Clarkston Community for the Children’s Oral Storytelling Workshop. This was part of the BRIMSTONE PROJECT. We had a group that consisted of families with their children and adults. Kuumba Storytellers presented Storytelling Workshop 102 with Ernestine Brown, Laverne Amponsah, and Deborah Strahorn. Kuumba Storytellers, Janice Butt and Gwendolyn J. Napier served as Workshop Facilitators. Ernestine reflected back to Workshop 101 “The ABC’S of Storytelling” which was first presented to the group with Esther Culver, Janice Butt and Gwendolyn J. Napier on the importance of story selections and contents.  Janice reminded them to have a JUICY FACE when telling stories to reach the audience and that it was also helpful to use props and music to keep it simple – ‘KIS’. She concluded with a wonderful story that captivated the children.

Laverne informed the audience that there were different storytelling learning styles, including auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. The children were able to identify each. Several props were introduced to the children that consisted of original African instruments and dolls. Laverne also shared a story with the children about being different and that it is ok to love yourself for just being you. Deborah Strahorn introduced the components of story connections: the story, the audience, and the storyteller. She demonstrated call and response to the group and showed ways to use storytelling props when telling stories to young children. Her presentation was great and the stories she shared were fantastic.

Our Sudanese friends shared their stories and demonstrated what they had learned from both workshops. We heard stories that were told in Dinka & translated back into English. These were all Dinka children’s stories preserved so that they will be passed down from generation to generation. Handmade instruments were used during story time as an introduction into their stories.

You will have an opportunity to read the children’s stories when the book is published. You will also hear them told in the community by Kuumba Storytellers. This was a wonderful program which included delicious Sudanese food prepared by the wife of USASSCA member Ibrahim. We went back for seconds, thirds and even had an opportunity to take a plate home. Our plates were full of food, workshops, great stories, & new friends. If you missed this program make sure that you do not miss the next one coming soon.

Gwendolyn Napier – Kuumba Storytellers of GA Vice President

2 thoughts on “Storytelling 102: Children’s Oral Storytelling Workshop”

  1. Dear Mrs. Napier

    I have verbally shared with your team , previously , how much we appreciate your professional assistance to our community; however, it is time that you get official statement from our team on your work with us . On behalf of the Sudanese communities , we have learned so much from your team as human beings and as professional story tellers . The members of Sudanese communities, who have been attending your trainings , have grown immensely and I am sure your email attests to this . From the first day I shared stage with Deborah at community festival to right now , I have gained so much techniques, use of props, tone variations, use of gestures , to be able to actively engage my audience during story telling . With techniques you shown us , you have given us wings to tell our rich stories with renewed enthusiasm and confidence . We have much to share , and you have literally and figuratively ignited the fire . We are fired up !

    Yours sincerely,
    Emmanuel Solomon
    USASSCA Georgia – Chair

  2. As a Storyteller with 14 years of Storytelling experiences,
    Workshop Facilitating and as a Presenter, this has been one of the most inspiring Projects that I have ever work on. I have learned so much from our Sudanese friends and their Communities. The project has been a Partnership that has bonded us together through Stories, one story at a time. Our friends have shown me the importance of Cultural togetherness and the true meaning of a Family’s love for their children and cultivating their stories. I have truly learned from you as a Storyteller. You have given me new stories to share with the World, and I truly say “Thank You” as a Kuumba Storyteller and as an Educator. We all have so much in common especially the commonality of simply being “Human Beings” with a love for our Culture. We will no longer say, We Remember Who We Were…but we embrace our CULTURES proudly saying that we will always Remember “Who We Are”.

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