Lee Palmer Storytelling Celebration

The Library is excited to present its first annual Lee Palmer Storytelling Celebration – a two-day event consisting of a workshop for librarians and educators and a storytelling celebration for children and families.

The Storytelling Workshop will take place on Friday, April 12th, at 1:00 p.m. in the Library’s Auditorium. This free workshop for adults, entitled “Off the Page: Storytelling Craft and Technique,” will be presented by storyteller Rachael Harrington. Refreshments will be available. This interactive workshop will equip you to bring favorite stories off the page to become oral storytelling experiences. Participants will explore story selection, methods of storyboarding, and performance technique – all while playing fun games and practicing the art of crafting a story for a live audience!

The Storytelling Celebration for families will take place on Saturday, April 13th, starting at 11:00 a.m. and will feature three great storytellers: Rachael Harrington, Glenn Harper, and Laconia Therrio. During the Storytelling Celebration, Rachael will be presenting “Once Upon a SHEro” which celebrates folktales with strong female characters.

The Lee Palmer Storytelling Celebration is organized by the Friends of the White Plains Public Library in honor of their dear friend and member Lee Palmer.

In an interview with Palmer, she said that in 1966 she noticed an item in the local paper. The head of the children’s department of the White Plains Public Library was offering a program on storytelling. It piqued Lee’s interest and she attended the five session workshop. Right after Lee told her story for her “final exam,” she was asked to stop in to see the Library’s Director. On the spot, she was offered a job as a storyteller in the children’s room. So began a twenty-five-year career, sharing stories with generations of White Plains children.

Over the course of those 25 years, Lee honed her natural storytelling skills as an active member of Anne Izard’s Westchester Storytellers Guild. She also studied storytelling at SUNY Purchase, taught by the groundbreaking Sesame Street Workshop.  After her final required performance for that course, she was — again on the spot — invited to spend a day on the set of Sesame Street, where she was delighted to meet its famous residents, especially Big Bird. We are sure he remembers her well.

“The art of storytelling creates enthusiastic readers by enhancing imagination, improving vocabulary, and refining communication skills through human connection,” said City of White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach. “Lee Palmer understood the power of human connection honing this unique skill over twenty-five years for the benefit of White Plains children. The Lee Palmer Storytelling Celebration is the perfect way to honor the value and joy Lee brought to so many lives.”

Lee retired from the White Plains Public Library in 1991, but not really. She has remained very active in pursuits related to children, stories, books and libraries. When we asked Lee why she thinks storytelling is important for children, we think she inadvertently gave us her secret recipe for creating generations of dedicated readers here in White Plains. She said, “To see a book, to hear the story told by somebody else, and then to think, ‘I’m going to take that book home.’”

Presenter Biographies:

Rachael Harrington is a storyteller whose work has taken her around the globe, presenting imagination infused performances and workshops in arts venues, schools, community settings, and as a guest lecturer at Rutgers University.

Glenn Harper is an accomplished and captivating teller of folktales and stories from around the world, drawing in and engaging audiences of all ages to find universality, meaning, humor and heart in his tales. For over 20 years Glenn has been performing concerts, workshops, and residencies in schools, libraries, museums, and other venues. For the past several years he has been a Teaching Artist with the Connecticut Storytelling Center, offering residencies in storytelling and literacy skills at schools around the state.
A therapist, a chaplain, and the Director of Behavioral Science of Stamford Hospital’s Family Medicine Residency Program, Laconia Therrio shares stories from across the globe. As a professional storyteller he tells stories in schools, libraries, corporations…or wherever stories can be told. Believing that stories remind us more of our commonalities than our differences, his repertoire includes stories from the Americas, the African continent, Europe and Asia. Whether folktale, myth, fable or scary, he invites the listener to discover the wonder of each tale. Laconia is available for workshops, residencies, retreats, and concerts.
Categories: Library News.

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