The Pam and David Sprinkle Children’s Author and Storyteller Series Fund
An expectant hush falls over the room. The wide, excited eyes of hundreds of Guilford County fourth graders watch as the storyteller prepares and then finally speaks. Behind them, the children’s chaperones – teachers and pre-service teachers from across the county and the campus – are equally enthralled by the storyteller’s tale. The experience remembers, honors, and extends one of humankind’s oldest traditions.
Every year UNC Greensboro University Libraries ensures upcoming generations experience storytelling through the Children’s Author and Storytelling Series. Now in its 11th year, the Storytelling Series invites award-winning, nationally recognized children’s authors to the Triad for a memorable weekend of literary delight.
The children’s author – including Grammy Award-winning Billy Harley, “Gran’daddy Junebug” Mitch Capel, Oklahoma Choctaw and key-note speaker Tim Tingle, and Native American expert Dr. Joe Bruchac – first participates in Winston Salem’s BOOKMARKS Festival, held on the second Saturday of September, under UNCG sponsorship. Attracting more than 6000 children and children’s literature lovers yearly, the festival engages and inspires readers and writers of all ages, promoting cultural diversity and literacy education. After performing at the festival, the author returns to UNCG the following Monday for a series of performances for nearly 1000 Guilford County students and workshop sessions with UNCG School of Education pre-service elementary education students.
Though 2009 budget cuts threatened to end the program in its infancy, the Children’s Author and Storyteller Series found strong allies in Pam and David Sprinkle. The Sprinkles never attended UNCG, but they found values and commitments there they wanted to support. As a former media specialist and a member of the Friends of the Library Board, Pam knew the importance of the series. They established The Pam and David Sprinkle Children’s Author and Storytelling Series Fund, and their annual contributions ensure the series will endure for years to come.
“This series is so important to kids,” says Pam. “For many of them, this is their first time at UNCG, and it’s a wonderful, formative experience for them. For the many teachers to-be, this series is a chance for them to learn how storytelling can improve the classroom experience for their future students.”
This year, UNC Greensboro invited award-winning spoken word artist, storyteller, and author, Donna Washington. For more than 30 years, she has entertained and educated listeners of all ages with her powerful vocals, elastic facial expressions, and deep understanding of and appreciation for storytelling. Her performances are often thematic, focusing on issues such as bullying, respect, and self-esteem, and are based in Greek and African mythologies.
Thanks to the Sprinkles, the Children’s Author and Storyteller Series not only survived – it thrived. Their yearly support introduces thousands of students to the wonders of storytelling, sparking imagination for countless stories to come.
Written by Michelle Danner-Groves, Donor Relations
Photo courtesy of Donna Washington https://dlwstoryteller.com/
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