by Lynn Horton
Students, parents, friends, and members of The Southern Crescent Storytellers recently gathered in the morning at the Peachtree City Library for the Annual Multicultural Winter Celebration. Many of the children were from Shoal Creek School in Sharpsburg. Others were homeschoolers who spend time each week under the kind tutelage of Anne Wallace and other instructors, learning and practicing the ancient art of storytelling.
Children’s librarian Janice Dukes warmed up the group with a lively reading and group participation concerning Santa’s lost suit, while Neal Peeples, one of the adult tellers, closed the program with “The Night Before Christmas,” asking for the children’s help in filling in the blanks of the much-loved recitation. Other Southern Crescent members shared descriptions of Christmas in other lands and in other cultures. Linda Armstrong used Santa figurines from countries on both sides of the equator for a lesson in customs, while Verna Mahoney and Lucille Campbell, both dressed in beautiful traditional African attire, told the story and the meaning behind Kwanza. They used symbols important in teaching the seven principles of this relatively new celebration begun in 1966 to remember and honor the African culture.
The adults were good at holding the attention of about 40 squirmy, but very polite and well-behaved youngsters, (there were, after all, some tempting refreshments waiting on them at the end of the program), but it was Mia and Zack, both eight years old and students of storytelling since August 2015, who had the crowd in the palm of their hands.
Zachary Schike shared the ancient history of the Jewish Celebration of Light that is Hanukkah with his audience by reading and showing the illustrations in the beautiful book he had chosen, yet another way to pass on stories.
As Mia Morris stepped to the front in her red dress decorated with candy canes and hearts, her mom tied a little girl-sized apron around her waist. An appliquéd gingerbread man on the front announced her story as Mia began her personal adaptation of the classic tale. It was delightful; adults and children alike were completely entertained.
Refreshments from other lands, prepared by Beth Anne Miles, also an instructor, and parents, were greatly enjoyed as were the goody bags with coloring pages, stickers, and fun projects designed to reinforce all of the holiday traditions shared during the Multicultural Winter Celebration.
Interested in either the children’s or adult programs? Contact Anne Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Stories.