Master Storyteller Captivates

By Kate Riccardi, TPS parent and photographer extraordinaire

Charlotte Blake Alston, master storyteller, was our storyteller-in-residence this week. On Tuesday she came to visit TPS with her fantastic stories and fables from Africa. She began the morning, captivating the preschool and kindergarten children by sharing the West African tradition of storytelling by relating folk stories with a lot of audience participation. The children loved helping to tell the stories, responding to questions, and interacting with the characters Blake Alston was creating. She ended the session with a poignant story about embracing differences and appreciating what value each of us has to offer the community, however great or small.

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Next, the Primary Unit was treated to tales from Malawi and Ghana. They were riveted by stories of the praying mantis and other creatures and their adventures. This session concluded with a beautiful and at times, somber, poem about Martin Luther King. The students joined in the chorus with clapping and waved the peace sign with their fingers.

Blake Alston concluded her morning with a visit to the kindergarten. There she was treated to a discussion about friendships in the kindergarten and was introduced to the different components that make up the “Friendship Tool Box.” Our guest discussed different ways to handle problems and conflicts, many of which the students tied back to the tools they use in school. Blake Alston concluded her visit by sharing her Martin Luther King poem with the kindergarteners. What an exceptional experience and privilege it was to share the morning with Charlotte Blake Alston and her magical storytelling!

On Wednesday, Ms. Blake Alston will devote her second day of residency to Middle School. On Thursday, her attention will be devoted to our 3rd, 4h, and 5th grades.