Stories & imagination will teach and entertain families

TOMS RIVER –  Storyteller Michelle Washington Wilson will present “Stories and Songs to Stir your Soul” at 11 Ocean County Library branches during February.

The fifty-minute program for children and families will weave original and traditional folk music through a sequence of stories from South Jersey and stitch them together like a comfortable handmade quilt on a chilly day, she promised.

Wilson’s program will introduce young audiences to poetry, fiction, myths and history across diverse cultures and time periods. The folk tales, tall tales, fairy tales and poems and fables are suitable for all ages. And she will encourage the audience to participate to help stir their imagination and enrich the event.

“It’s a great way to utilize memory, speech, and the imagination,” she said. “The stories I share bring the group into the stories and they leave with new stories on their hearts and minds.”

The program aligns with the NJ Core Content Curriculum Standards: Visual and Performing Arts.

Wilson will present “Stories and Songs to Stir you Soul” at the following locations:

Stafford, 7 p.m. Mon. Feb. 2, 609-597-381

Berkeley, 6:30 p.m. Tue. Feb. 3, 732-269-2144

Lacey, 6 p.m. Wed. Feb. 4, 609-693-8566

Barnegat 6:30 p.m. Thur. Feb. 5, 609-698-3331

Island Heights, 3:30 p.m. Fri. Feb. 6, 732-270-6266

Tuckerton, 6 p.m. Mon. Feb. 9, 609-296-1470

Beachwood, 10:30 a.m. Tue. Feb. 10, 732-244-4573

Pt. Pleasant Beach, 6 p.m. Tue. Feb. 17, 732-892-4575

Waretown, 10:30 a.m. Thur. Feb. 19, 609-693-5133

Manchester, 6 p.m.  Mon. Feb. 23, 732-657-7600

Toms River, 6:30 p.m. Wed. Feb. 25, 732-349-6200.

The programs are free and open to the public but registration is required. To register telephone the branch or go to the library’s website www.theoceancountylibrary.org , click on the “Events & News” icon, then click on “Calendar of Events.”

Storytelling is very popular in other parts of the country and Wilson takes pride in keeping that tradition alive in New Jersey.

She has honed her craft since she was 12-years old while competing in local storytelling contests. She earned a BA in Speech Communication and Theater Arts Education from Monmouth University.

She has more than 10 years’ experience with federally funded literacy programs and she is currently an Adjunct Instructor at Atlantic Cape Community College.

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