"The classroom has all the elements of theatre, and the observant, self-examining teacher will not need a drama critic to uncover character and plot, and meaning. We are, all of us, the actors trying to find the meaning of the scenes in which we find ourselves. The scripts are not yet fully written, so we must listen with curiosity and great care to the main characters who are, of course, the children." - Vivian Gussin PaleyLast night we gathered as a community to explore the role of storytelling in the children's lives at Rowanberry. We discussed "Story Studio," which is a convention that we have developed over time where children to dream up, work out, illustrate, perform, discuss, and revise their stories with their community of writers. Story Studio continues to evolve as we listen to the children, discuss what we notice, and work to deepen our thinking about the many aspects of story creation and story sharing. Parents had the opportunity to gather at the red rug and give a "Sneak Peek" into a story, just as the children do at school. Then they were invited to explore rich environments in the classroom where they were given the opportunity to delve deeper into their story and share their story with others. Some folks found connections between their stories. At the clay table, the stories of individuals transformed through collaborative work with the materials and became a whole new story.
Between the stories shared on the red rug, and the time spent talking, laughing and playing with materials, it was meaningful for folks to experience first hand the unique power of stories to build connections between people, to create understanding and empathy, and ultimately, to build community.