Tuesday 10 June 2014

Pratham Books Champion : Storipur

Priya Muthukumar's sent us her post about the second TENTASTIC storytelling session. Priya conducted this storytelling session as part of Storipur. As a student counselor and educator, she enjoys all her interactions with kids. Writing, telling stories and simply being with Mother Nature are few of the many things she loves to do! Storipur intends to fill up the gaps, through the ancient art form, storytelling. Sharing stories about environment, countries, societies, cultures and about all ourselves: it's Storipur's humble attempt to build responsible communities.

The Plastic Monster- Storytelling Session

To conduct a storytelling session, as a public event where the entire community can pitch in, has been a dream for me. This dream took shape, on a Sunday, through The Plastic Monster, an interactive storytelling session with a community-craft activity at Penfolds, Bangalore.

Plastic pollution is a growing menace which generally gets overlooked. 8th June, the Sunday during the Environment Week was my obvious choice to share the story of The Plastic Monster. Well, I chose the story, Chasing The Plastic Pisach by Sumathi Sudhakar, published by Pratham Books. The story has a fairly 
neat and simple story-line. It talks about the harmful effects of plastic through the journey of a plastic bag.

With around 13 kids and 7 adults, my audience were an enthusiastic and energetic lot! Several questions and answers were incorporated in the story to hold the audience’s attention, to garner their response towards the society and the central theme of the story. Repetitions, exaggerations and a rhyme were all part of the session. As the plastic bag flew in the story, I encouraged the kids to share what would have happened to the plastic bag.

The story proved to be an essential tool for the kids and adults to take a pause and look at the plastics in our daily lives which can be easily avoided. Jatin, Jaya (the original story had Jeeva, but the kids wanted to rename her as Jaya!), Jhilmil, Pancharangi, Shanthi… kids loved all the characters in this story!

The discussions, the questions and answers which the storytelling session had triggered were mind-blowing! The interactions were amusing and thought-provoking. Here’ s one-

Me- “Sooo many plastic icecream cups and spoons , lying everywhere…what are we going to do about those plastic ?”

In a faint voice, a 5 year old quips,“ Aunty, cone, we ‘ll have cone icecreams’.

The entire room was filled with laughter!

The storytelling was followed by a community craft activity, making a collage with used plastic bottle caps. Jhanvi (6 years), needs a special mention here. Though she couldn't make it to the event, she generously sent along the plastic bottle caps which she had collected to be used for our craft activity, a simple yet significant example of people coming together as a community for a cause.

Less plastic for us, was the resolve we all took away with us, as we left home!

As a storyteller, my experience can be summed into one single word~ satisfaction. I loved the story and I am planning to share it with many more children.

Thank you Priya and Storipur for helping us spread the joy of reading!

In 2014, Pratham Books is inviting people to become TENTASTIC Champions. This year's champions initiative is a year-long storytelling drive. Join our tribe of champions and commit to conducting ten storytelling sessions for children during the year (including the main one on International Literacy Day). Lets make reading contagious!

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