Storytelling is the first form of creative writing, and often one of the first ways children express creativity. I’ll never forget my two-year-old nephew telling his detailed story about going to the zoo and petting the elephants the previous day, yet my sister confirmed that he hadn’t been to the zoo for months. And the Phoenix Zoo has never had opportunities to pet elephants (though if they did, I’d be all over that). When do children lose that imagination? What if we could help them keep it, cultivate it, and express it?
The Big Fibbers Storytelling Festival is coming March 15-17th and has several events, all of which are kid-friendly for middle grades and up. Your children may have already been involved in the YoungTales Program contest through school, but even if they are not presenting, Saturday’s competition is a great opportunity for children to see something unique and support other local young storytellers. It may spark a desire to try something new in the future.
Here’s why you should consider attending at least the YoungTales Program if not the rest of the weekend…
1. Creativity and imagination
Whether your child is telling her own stories or listening to others’, she will be exposed to fun, creative, and humorous tales that will spark her imagination and may ignite a desire for more.
2. Learn writing skills
Listening to stories engages children in hearing, telling, and creating stories. Along the way, they learn about character, setting, plot, and theme.
3. Cultivate a hidden talent
When one practices something and gets better at it, one develops confidence. Storytelling is a helpful life skill that many may not consider cultivating. If your child shows an interest, a future contest may give her a chance to shine.
4. Get comfortable with presenting skills
Presenting in front of others, verbal expression, and story-telling are quickly becoming lost arts in this age of screens, texting, and emojis. Seeing other children tell their stories may spark confidence for your child to give it a try. Life skills are always good.
5. Have a laugh
With a name like Big Fibbers, you are guaranteed a laugh or two. Let’s see how far these kids (and adults) can take it. You never know where these skills may take them. SNL anyone?
And don’t neglect the rest of the weekend. If you really want a laugh, check out Bil and Andy’s shows. Both award winning storytellers, Rome is lucky to have them this year. Teachers, presenters, pastors, and story lovers will also enjoy Bil and Andy’s Workshop. Tap here for an example of Bil Lepp’s work.
Here are the details:
Debby Brown YoungTales Storytelling Competition
March 16 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Rome City Auditorium
FREE, donations accepted
The Debby Brown YoungTales Program engages local students in hearing, telling, and creating stories. Along the way, they learn about character, setting, plot, and theme. They develop confidence and skill in speaking before a group. The program culminates with in-school performances by the national tellers who headline the Big Fibbers Festival and a youth storytelling competition during the festival weekend.
Festival: $25, not including workshop