Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Brief History of Spellbinders

A Brief History of Spellbinders

The Spellbinders program grew out of an oral history project in a Denver middle school in 1989. While leading that project Germaine Dietsch noted how eagerly and intently children listened to the stories told by their elders. Germaine realized that it was not only the stories, but also the sense of connection and intimacy produced by the person-to-person storytelling that created the magic. This led her to seek sponsorship from Denver Public Schools to recruit a group of senior citizen volunteers to tell stories in the schools' classrooms. The schools volunteer specialist, Christine Smith, enthusiastically supported sponsorship. Her administrative office underwrote several sessions in the art of storytelling given by professional storytellers to the first group of six volunteers. Before long the six grew to twenty. Later, the informal storytelling sessions were developed into a three-day workshop by Cherie Karo Schwartz, a professional storyteller, and Germaine. The workshop, which became a requirement, enabled volunteers to become classroom storytellers Spellbinders!

More information contact Greg Davis, Lexington Public Library 231-5554,
or contact Paschal at
Next training is last week of July, 2011, Lexington.


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