With West Virginia University Alumni Weekend just around the corner, the WVU National Writing Project, part of the College of Education and Human Services, will host a workshop for alumni that will be followed by a talk from internationally-recognized Appalachian storyteller Hannah Harvey on Saturday, June 8.

According to Malayna Bernstein and Audra Slocum, directors of the WVU Alumni Writing Project and professors at the college, the two events will explore basic techniques of oral storytelling, how to develop compelling stories, and the connections between oral storytelling and writing.

“We live in a region of rich storytelling traditions, and drawing from these traditions can help strengthen students’ creative expression in writing,” Slocum said. “Our guest speaker draws from these traditions to inspire and demonstrate for teachers how to incorporate storytelling into writing instruction.

“You don’t need to be an English or language arts teacher to enjoy and learn from her talk or workshop,” Slocum added. “New teachers and experienced teachers alike are welcome.”

The writing workshop for teachers titled “Telling Your Stories: From the Classroom to Everyday Life,” will be from 2:15 to 4 p.m. at Hilton Garden Inn, in the Suncrest A room. This two-hour workshop is designed to help teachers hone their skills as storytellers, whether they are telling their own personal stories to friends and family, or wanting to incorporate storytelling in the classroom as a teaching tool.

Following the workshop will be a talk from Harvey called “Why Stories Matter: How Stories Shape Identity and Culture,” from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. Harvey’s talk will combine lecture and live storytelling performance to convey the power of storytelling to shape identity and culture.

“We hope that teachers join us for the talk and workshop to feed their own creative spirits as well as to learn how to inspire the creative spirits in their students,” Bernstein said. “The National Writing Project at WVU is based on this model of inspiring teachers so that they can do the same for their students. We’ll be having future events that will build on this idea. We hope teachers will join us, knowing that their knowledge and experience will be respected.”

The National Writing Project began in 1974 and has since grown into a large network of sites located in schools across the country. The WVU chapter was established in 1987 and was housed in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences until this year, when it moved to the College of Education and Human Services.

Both events are free and open to the public. For more on the WVU chapter of the National Writing Project, visit www.nwp.wvu.edu.



CONTACT: Christie Zachary, College of Education and Human Services
304.293.0224; Christie.Zachary@mail.wvu.edu

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