Thursday, January 27, 2011

One World, Many Stories and River's Edge

One World Many Stories is the national theme for library summer reading programs for children and it fits perfectly with storytelling. I've been reading and planning for weeks on this theme, trying to find the best possible program to offer to libraries. For most storytellers, summer reading is the summertime bread and butter. While I have always done some library programs in the summer, this year I hope to do more because I'll have more time.

With a theme like this to work with, the possibilities are endless. Do I focus on one country, one continent, one culture? Or do a wide-reaching program to encompass the entire world? Or both? If I focus on one country, which one should it be? Do I offer a craft with the program--some libraries with few staff and little time like that. What songs do I know to go with a multicultural theme? Can I do something with rhythm instruments? puppets?

Those are the kinds of questions I have been mulling over. The program has taken shape--actually, there are two programs I can offer. The first is Around the World with Granny Sue. I'll have flags from different countries, maps, globes and other items on display. We can spin the globe and select a continent to tell a story, or we can reach into my storybag and pull out one of the objects in it and tell the story that goes with the object. We'll have songs and movement, puppets and participation. For those wanting a craft, we'll make a blue dragon from a Korean festival. Or a rainstick from South America. Or...endless possibilities.

Second possibility: libraries can select a country and I will focus my stories and activities on that country or culture. This could get interesting. Festivals, fables,traditions, mythic creatures like fairies, ogres, and dragons --all  possibilities to explore in stories and music. The promotional postcard is mailed and now I'm making telephone calls. So far the response has been very good, so I'm encouraged.

The other project occupying these winter evenings is the Stories at the River's Edge grant. I've been working on this off and on for the past few weeks, and now it's crunch time. More calls to find matching funds, more calls to line up storytellers, more calls to get the necessary letters of support, more planning, more writing and figuring. It is coming together, just a few more pieces to put together, copies to make, calls to make and it will be done. It's exciting to see this coming together and to be able to add new venues and new partners to the project. Will we get funded? That depends on how much money is available to the funding agency and how many other people are asking for it. We can only do our best and then see what happens.


Country Whispers said...

Sounds like your planning a busy summer schedule.
I like the idea of Around the World with Granny Sue.
Katie still talks of the song that you sang about the waterways from your house to the ocean.
We were doing a 5th grade history lesson and Katie popped in with an answer and it was because of your song that she knew the answer.

Angela said...

That does sound like a great theme for the Summer program! So many different possibilities of great things to do along with the stories.

Stay warm!

Granny Sue said...

I love hearing that, Jessica. It is good to know children remember things from my program. What I love is to hear them re-telling a story afterwards. Once we saw a little guy walking down the road with his dad, excitedly re-telling a story I'd just told. He didn't know we were behind him! It was great.

Angela, there's so much it's hard to pick what to do. It's like opening a trunk of beautiful clothes, each dress more beautiful than the last. This world is full of stories and music. Choosing what to use is not easy.

Rowan said...

It sounds like an interesting theme for the summer reading programme. Must admit I'd have been inclined to focus on Scandinavia as they have such a huge number of wonderful myths and legends - but that's just because it attracts me of course:)
Hope you get your funding, it's hard work applying for funding of any kind in any country I think.


Granny Sue -- You certainly have an active lifestyle. Writing grants is full time. I used to write them wearing a different hat than I do now. Programming such delightful story times also is time consuming. I get the feeling that you love what you are doing and that is all that counts. -- barbara

Granny Sue said...

You're right about Scandanavia, Rowan--I'm currently reading a collection of Norwegian stories and they're wonderful-funny, surprising, lots of great imagery, trolls and giants and all kinds of action. Great tales!

hart said...

I think 'Around the World' is what so many tellers will be doing this summer. I would narrow it down some, and focus on stories all about say--good luck or fairy-sized characters or something child oriented. They'll love your stories once they get them into the library.--Jane

Granny Sue said...

Could be, Jane. I've booked 10 shows so far and have 5 more possibilities in the pipeline; since I just started the promotions I don't want to change my plans at this time. I am always flexible, though, so if a library requests something else, I can accommodate them. My country tour will touch on festivals of the world as well as the stories, and some of the customs of the various places too. The librarians I've spoken with like this program as a kickoff or finale for their summers.

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