Written by Larisa Taha & Malak Mutter, Grade 7 Students
Since October, Ms.Conley’s grade 7 class from Featherston Drive has been working on a storytelling showcase. We went to see Jacqui Du Toit and Jamaal Jackson Rogers perform storytelling and spoken word poetry. Jamaal works with Youth Ottawa and is a poet, writer, and stage performer. Jacqui works for the MASC program (Multicultural Arts in Schools) and is a storyteller from South Africa.
Jacqui came to our school and worked with us on storytelling through the SttArts program (Storytelling Through The Arts). We met once a week and were taught the art of storytelling and that our stories have power. We were introduced to Jamaal who taught us about event management to create our showcase.
All the students were assigned different roles to stay organized for the event, Shooting Stars & Stories, where students would perform their stories in front of a large audience. Students were put in teams for Marketing , Branding, Venue Design, and Event Management. We spent time improving our stories, practicing and adding more details. Students made posters and invitations for guests who would attend.
At the showcase, all of the students had a chance to tell their stories. It was nerve racking and stressful to be on stage but we all did it! After, R7A felt like our stories were valuable and we felt more confident. Jacqui and Jamaal really taught R7A the art of storytelling and as Jacqui said “These are your stories, no one can take or tell your stories, only you can!”.