November 29, 2010

My storytelling/actress friend, Emily

Greetings to all, and I hope your Thanksgiving holidays were peaceful and filled with joy. I’m readying some BIG NEWS for DFT and will announce the news tonight or tomorrow, so stay in touch during this week of exciting announcements.

Meanwhile, I’m contemplating the vital role of storytelling in the roots of DFT. Yesterday I began my teaching residency with the EK Powe STARS after school program and was given a powerful reminder of the potency of this seemingly simple art form. Traditionally, storytelling was understood in cultures as a tool for reflecting and shaping our reality. We used stories to describe relationships, challenges and possibilities. Stories helped establish character traits valued in community and communicated philosophies and ideals that shaped those traits. Stories fired our imaginations and developed our thinking abilities.  What does it mean then when, on the way into class yesterday afternoon, a six-year-old girl informs me with near panic, “I can’t tell stories!”

Those painful words have resonated in my heart and imagination today – they present me with a challenge I’m determined to meet and a central goal for the next 5-weeks of classes with my first group of students at EK Powe: to help that child discover that not only can she tell stories, but she has many stories alive in her heart and imagination waiting to be told. Do you think it can be done? Stay tuned …

Warmly, Jenny

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