Storytelling as a Reward?
The school that my children attend has been participating in a program where they are called to be safe, kind, and respectful. The theme of the program is Sharing Your Treasures. It goes along the lines of following God’s example of charity and generosity.
When the students earn a certain number of “treasures” in the school treasure chest, they receive a surprise reward. The students are also asked for ideas of things they would like for their reward. This time a 3rd grader suggested a storyteller come visit when the treasure chest was full.
As the treasure chest neared is brink of treasures, the school principal asked if I would be willing to be storyteller. I said, “Sure. When? How much time do I have to tell the stories?” We settled on a date and length of time and I decided in my mind which stories I would share.
I didn’t tell anyone about my secret identity as the storyteller because I didn’t want to ruin the surprise.
Last Thursday was my day to serve as storyteller. I was nervous when I was revealed as the surprise because I could see the incredulous looks on some of the kids’ faces.
“This is our reward???” – is what they were thinking.
I broke the ice with a silly joke and then started in with two fables. By the second minute of the first fable, they were hooked. They were leaning in to hear and wanted to know what the moral of the story would be. After the fables, I shared three myths and one really long joke. The students didn’t want to the stories to end and this storyteller was so relieved.
Since Thursday, I have received multiple emails, phone calls, and compliments from parents at school. There have been plenty of hugs coming my way from the school kids too. It has been very rewarding for me.
It really made me think though.
How is it that one goofy lady and a handful of stories could be considered a reward?
Simplicity was the key. The stories fed the students’ imaginations. The opportunity provided them the chance to just be kids and enjoy the magic of fiction. Simplicity and time. Giving the kids time and attention was significant. There wasn’t any lecturing or scolding or coaching. Just storytelling.
I encourage you to take time to tell some fun or memorable stories of your own this week. Share your time and talents with those you love. Your attention and imagination or maybe stories about past experiences are all that is needed to create a new memory.
Spark energy with your intent to share and reap the rewards of a story well told.
By: Melanie A. Peters