A night of storytelling fun at Mini-Versity

Last Thursday evening, more than 30 families came to Louisville’s Mini-Versity to learn more about supporting their children’s literacy through storytelling. Storytelling is an easy way to support vocabulary development for young children.

Despite the 95 degree weather, the families were all excited. Parents and children participated in a storytelling/story reading workshop where they told personal and family stories. In addition, families used puppets, dolls and stuffed animals to stimulate story making (a great tip for those looking to spark creativity at home or at school). Some children described the animals, others told elaborate fantasies about fairy godmothers and jungle adventures.

We closed the session with a reading of A Cool Ride in the Sky, a folktale. The evening wrapped up with bookmaking, educational games and a big meal. Everyone got a book to take home too. Designing these parent workshops has been a learning experience for me. If you are leading a workshop, it would be good to include these components to make it a success:

  • Demonstration
  • Talk time
  • Handouts
  • Take-home materials (e.g., resources, games)
  • Child care
  • And, of course, food!

Thanks to all the famlies for participating. I especially enjoyed talking to two young fathers who wanted to know other ways to improve their children’s vocabulary. To all the parents out there, keep telling those stories.

— Bonnie Freeman