Statewide Partners Dinner: Storytelling with Dr. Sobol & University School Kindergarten Class

The Governor’s Books from Birth Statewide Partners Dinner was held this week with a focus on the theme of storytelling. 

Dr. Joseph Sobol, Director of the ETSU Graduate Program of Storytelling, performed the Imagination Library book, The First Strawberries by Joseph Bruchac. Dr. Joseph Sobol is an educator, Storyteller, music-maker, folklorist, and author. In 2000, he was appointed Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Storytelling at East Tennessee State University, where he is a tenured Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. We appreciate Dr. Sobol bringing this Imagination Library book through his wonderful, artistic talent!

To accompany the performance, the University School kindergarten class on ETSU’s campus, did an art project with The First Strawberries and Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain, another story by Verna Aardema. When reading The First Strawberries, the students noted the setting of the story and how beautiful the land was. One student even referenced how the authors wanted to create illustrations that made people feel like they walk into the book. They talked about the Cherokee culture and how they saved memories and teachings through their storytelling.

The class painted their interpretation of both stories on 36” by 36” canvases that were displayed at the event. As a gift for guests, we had the artwork of The First Strawberries printed on ceramic tiles.

Thank you to ETSU President Brian Noland and ETSU First Lady Donna Noland. Donna took our idea of sharing stories with you and made it blossom into something quite special.

Thank you also to Ms. Dedra Lamb and her Instructional Aide Ms. Myra McGhee and the 19 kindergarten students who provided the wonderful artwork.

Click here to view more pictures of the University School class art project.

Click here to view more picture from the Statewide Partners dinner.