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Storytelling at Champlain

Champlain School wrapped up a year of learning and artistic exploration of the theme of freedom with a special celebration in June.

The June 15 assembly showcased students work in storytelling, writing, drawing, drumming, singing and fiddling; on hand for the event were international storyteller Jamie Oliviero and Chris Scholl from DNA Rhythms.

Working alongside teacher Linda Gingera, Mr. Oliviero wove students' artistic impressions into one giant story.

The process began when Mr. Oliviero visited the school and worked with each classroom, starting with the nursery students.

"In nursery, we talked about walking through a world of beautiful colours, and going on a journey that takes us to a beautiful place. There is a rainbow bridge that leads to our hopes and dreams," Mr. Oliviero said.

"Classroom by classroom, chapter by chapter, we built a story," Ms. Gingera said. "It's a good story, but we didn't stop there. We revised, we added detail, we made our characters carefully and we exchanged ordinary, every day words for juicy, exciting words."

The story was further elaborated with colourful artwork.

"Every child from nursery to Grade 6, and every adult contributed to this art, and with that the story became even better, more powerful and more vibrant," Ms. Gingera said.

Musicians, including Mr. Scholl, also visited the school to provide a musical backbeat to the Champlain story.

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While the story was published in a book—The Story of Yueliang Mist—for students to enjoy with their families, the assembly marked the first time it was told live.

"We are going to share the experience of telling our story together for the very first time," Ms. Gingera said.

"Today you have released your story out into the world," Mr. Oliviero said at the end of the assembly. "And I hope it travels far."

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