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Storytelling workshops bring together NCS, KCS students

KEENE VALLEY - Storyteller and librarian Karen Glass gathered elementary students from North Country School and Keene Central School at the Keene Valley Library April 1 to share with each other the results of their storytelling workshops.

The former special education teacher has been working with students in both schools on the art of storytelling, helping them create their own stories and learning to perform them without notes or memorization.

"Everyone has a story to tell and wisdom to share," she said. "That's why I wanted to get both groups of children together."

The fourth and fifth graders from NCS plumbed their own experiences for story ideas, and thus covered a wide range of topics. In "The Boat in My Front Yard," for instance, a fifth grader from Galveston, Texas, recalled how Hurricane Ike devastated his hometown just days before his arrival in Lake Placid for the start of the current school year. Others included "The First Time I Sprained My Right Ankle," and "The Night I was Locked in the Closet."

KCS fourth grade students presented folk tales they'd been reading as part of their study of Native American culture and history. Their stories included "Custer's Last Stand," "How the Turtle Flew South for the Winter," and "The Rabbit Dance."

Both teachers were pleased by their students' performances at the Keene Valley Library.

"Everyone did really well," said NCS English teacher Kat Tholen, who made special mention of the efforts made by her students from Korea, Russia, and Sierra Leone. "It's never easy to stand up and present in front of a group, so it's great that everyone participated."

KCS fourth grade teacher Joanne Whitney agreed. "All the kids from both schools were really supportive of each other," she said. "That helped a lot."

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