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Storytelling is an ancient and vital part of what it means to be human. We are all fascinated with hearing stories, telling stories and making up new stories. Ancient man has left his mark in thousands of caves across the globe, telling the stories of their ancient worlds. Kings and warriors have been telling stories of their triumphs and conquests. Mothers and fathers have been telling their children bedtime stories before sending them off to the land of dreams.
When my children were young, we began a tradition of our own. I would tell an impromptu story, making it up as I went. Then, I would ask my eldest and to tell a story, then my two younger children would follow suit. The catch was, the story had to be told in Armenian. Over the years, I watched the world of storytelling take over my children's imaginations. We have made up dozens of stories over the years. My eldest has written and illustrated several stories beginning at 5 years old.
So, why am I writing about this?
We, at Armenian Kids Club, have taken the theme of storytelling and curated a wonderful free program that will take place on June 1, 2019, which is also International Children's Day. On this day of storytelling, we will be reading from our most recently published book entitled, "The Smart Bunny". This book had its birth in Artsakh, when the lovely playwright and author, Lilit Mkrtchyan wrote a special story just for our little readers living in the diaspora. Bringing the story to life was Jenya Hakopyan from Gyumri. The amazing collaboration took several months over skype and messenger and culminated in a special story about the benefits of being an avid reader.
After the book presentation, we will help kids write their very own comic book story, they will all get a blank comic book, which they will fill with their imaginations.
We will also have a puppet making station set up, where they can bring to life a new character. We will encourage them to take the puppets home and make up a fun story.
Finally, we will let kids sing, rap or recite poetry or make up a song.
These activities will all be mostly in Armenian. We hope that by combining fun, storytelling and the friendly environment, our kids will embrace speaking and learning Armenian.