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Spellbinding Stories Foster Imagination

The Journal News (Westchester, NY) , March 28, 2005


storyteller Linda Conte leads a group of volunteer men and women, part of a national organization called Spellbinders, who fan out once a month across the Early Childhood Center at Uriah Hill Elementary School in Peekskill for story sessions. Among them are teachers, librarians, a former parole officer, a retired chemist, a speech therapist and a young mother.

So happy are the amateur raconteurs to participate, they pay a $50 fee for training and take a videotaped final exam. After a year of working in schools and public libraries, they can receive half their money back.

Stories are at the heart of learning and are a "wonderful way to engage students' creative thinking and creative writing skills," says Peekskill Schools Superintendent Judith Johnson. "Storytelling represents a universal language of communication. It provides opportunities to learn how different cultures view the world. It encourages students to tell their own stories. That is how we foster creative writing."

And it's fun.

Subjects Covered: education

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