We just got word that the first box of books Story Squad helped deliver to Mzuzu International Academy in Malawi, Africa has arrived. Mary Grace, our colleague there, posted the following on her blog: “The contrast between these books and the other donations we’ve weeded from the collections is stunning. It’s such a joy to receive and then pass along current books in great condition, worthy of the effort it takes to get things here.” Story Squad is thrilled we could be part of this endeavor.
Our work with the UNC Hospital School is immensely rewarding, though perhaps the most difficult storytelling one can do. It is so fulfilling as a performer to see the delight on the faces of these children who are struggling for their health as they listen to the antics of greedy, lazy Anansi the Spider from African folklore, or “see” the Scandinavian winter landscape unfold before their mind’s eye while hearing about how Old Man Winter captured Spring in his dungeon. For those brief moments, these children are freed from the confines of their hospital rooms to explore the vividness of their own imaginations. And the rewards are subtle…no applause…no raucous laughter! It’s a gentle, tired smile or a mischievous glint in their eyes as they imagine frolicking with the story characters, that shows their engagement with the stories. We believe that stories can open doors, can offer coping strategies, and, in their own way, they can heal spirits. We hope we can offer such things to these incredibly courageous children and their families.