Education Blog

Celebrating Family at Brookside School

By Aaron Mace, Senior Faculty / Program and Curriculum Developer 02.19.16

Last month celebrated storyteller and educator, Bill Gordh and I helped Brookside School in Ossining celebrate Family Day. All the parents were invited to the school to see what their children have been doing and learning about. The JBFC was there to help the teachers kick-off upcoming units they will be teaching. Brookside school has been participating in the JBFC's Seeing Stories program for the past 3 years. The program curriculum was designed in close collaboration with Bill, and it features lots of folktales from all over the world.

This spring the first graders will be studying the Hudson River. To get into the theme, Bill and I arrived on Family Day with folk tales from Brazil, Greece, Kenya, Madagascar, Indonesia, and right here in the Hudson Valley. Rivers played a large part in all of the stories. Both kids and parents alike enjoyed our musical stories.

As the weather gets warmer the second graders will be studying their garden. More elaborate stories drew the students in as they heard the classic folk tales The Great, Big, Enormous Turnip from Russia, and Climbing a Bean Pole to Heaven from Japan. But the day wasn't all about listening to stories. The students had a chance to stretch their bodies and get in character when we played the Kenyan game, Chay Chay Koo Lay. The game is a storytelling exercise that encourages participants to dance, sing, and celebrate collaboration.

As the school year continues, the Brookside School teachers will continue to collaborate with the JBFC to help their students create short films as a part of their curriculum. 
Check back soon to watch their finished creations!