Stories matter.  They form the foundation of our daily lives and dreams.  They help us discover our place in the world as we create our life story.

Stories teach what it is to be human and about the place we call home.  They map the contours of struggle.  They show us the triumph of the human spirit and the timeless connection of people to each other and the land that sustains us.

Story-telling is a transformative art.  Good Storytelling pierces the heart, opening it up to possibility.  Through story-telling… and story-listening… emotions flow like water, eroding and revealing the bones of truth.

Stories are fundamental to learning.  All great teachers are great storytellers; all great storytellers are great story-listeners.

Storytelling builds community by revealing common ground which is used to move the community to action.  In community, anything is possible.

 

storytelling“The dreamer awakens, a shadow goes by,

I will tell you a tale, and that tale is a lie,

But ponder this well… fair maiden… proud youth,

While the tale is a lie, what it tells is the truth…”

 A traditional European storytelling ending

 

In many cultures, winter signaled the return of storytelling.  Each winter, Monarch Teacher Network is conducting a series of Storytelling courses called Stories from the Land.

We have three different levels of workshop available.   Anyone is welcome at any of our workshops:  Teacher, Student, Naturalist, Master Gardener, Parent, Grandparent, Community Leader, and Interested Participant.

  • Storytelling short course: Two hour evening sessions, held locally, that provide an introduction to the art of storytelling.   These may be themed or simply stated as beginner depending on the location and short course need.
  • Storytelling workshop: This one day course provides background on stories and storytelling.  Lessons and activities that can be used in the classroom or with a group are shown and discussed.  Stories are shared and story examples are provided.  Participants will explore stories and ways to improve their students as well as their own storytelling abilities.  Story prompts and supports are provided for creating personal stories as well.
  • Storytelling retreat: This retreat provides more time to investigate the power of “telling” a tale using more than just voice to paint a vivid story that will captivate audiences.  The group will dissect story elements to either create a new story or enhance an existing story which will become the basis for future “telling.”  We will draw our inspiration from the natural world – stars, constellations, lakes, rivers, woods, trees, animals, plants, earth, moon, and sun.   With shared experiences we provide safe environments to lower the risk.  All become successful and excited about taking more risks.  Most of these activities translate directly into the classroom as well.

At all of our storytelling workshops, participants receive:

  • Instruction in storytelling arts
  • Storytelling resources
  • Activities and materials to use
  • Professional Development credits (for Teachers)
  • Opportunities to hear, tell, and share stories

We are happy to bring storytelling to your community or school.  Contact Brian Hayes at bhayes@eirc.org or 856.582.7000 x110 to work out the details.

Here are the next storytelling events:

Storytelling short Courses:

Tuesday, March 15, 6:30 – 8:30pm at the Forest Resource Education Center:    495 Don Connor Boulevard Jackson, NJ  08527

Tuesday, April 12, 6:30 – 8:30pm at the Riverton Public School:    600 Fifth Street, Riverton, NJ. 08077

Contact Brian Hayes (bhayes@eirc.org) to secure a spot at these 2 hour events.  They are free but space may be limited.

 

Previous storytelling activities have been held in the following locations:

Duke Farms – Hillsborough / Camp Speers – Dingman’s Ferry, PA / Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge – Brigantine / Holland Twp School – Milford / The EARTH CENTER – South Brunswick / Cape May National Wildlife Refuge – Wildwood Crest / Maurice Hawk School – West Windsor / Riverview Elementary School – Denville / South Jersey Technology Park – Glassboro / Bolger Middle School – Keansburg  / Delaware Twp School – Sergeantsville / Allen Roberts School – New Providence / Alice Paul Institute – Mount Laurel

          

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