Carried away with words: – Storytelling transports students to world of imagination

PORT TOWNSEND –When 10-year-old Pan Greenwood gets up in front of the class to speak, he has a hard time finding the words to begin.

But once he gets going, the story he has chosen to tell — a variation of the Cinderella legend — starts to spin out, and when he gets to the part where the stepmother locks the young girl in a hut in the woods to starve, his listeners are right there with her.

“Then she hears a voice,” Pan says.

Helping young people find their voice is the purpose behind “Youth Teller Troupe,” an after school program that is part class, part club. Organized by Charise Diamond, it is one of many youth storytelling clubs forming across the country to promote public speaking skills through the ancient art of storytelling.

Working on fear

“They say fear of public speaking is greater than the fear of death,” Diamond says. “it is a fear that can hold you back in school, in business and in social situations.”

Diamond is an artist and writer who moved to Port Townsend from California, where she took university and private courses in storytelling. She has also started monthly “Story and Song” nights at Quimper Grange for families, but her main interest is working with older grade-school children.

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The rest of the story appears in Thursday’s Peninsula Daily News Jefferson County edition.

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