SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Beyond Kultura Events Foundation (BKE) has closed off its STORYTELLING part of the Storytelling & Reading-EXPRESSIONS Program, with a Certificates Ceremony last Sunday at Café Axum in Philipsburg.
“After convincing the sponsors about the importance of such program for our community, we took off with the Storytelling Course to 14 participants, mainly teachers, to get the basic training in how to create stories, using their own inner source, and how to use the right techniques to tell the stories to children. This serves the aim of BKE to enhance the listening skills of mainly children, which is fundamental to comprehend and understand stories.
“12 out of the 14 participants have accomplished this Beyond Kultura Storytelling program to develop and tell stories to children from 3 to 13 years old, and to enhance their listening skills.
“They have been giving them fun in listening to stories. Some of the storytellers have been telling stories in English, some in Dutch and one of them even in Spanish, to reach as much as possible children throughout our community with this storytelling program. Beyond Kultura has reached more or less 4,000 children with this storytelling program for the last 3 months,” according to a statement from BKE.
“The 12 certificated Storytellers are equipped with the Basic techniques of Storytelling after a weekend training ‘Storytelling’ and the visiting of entities like Community Centers or Afternoon School Programs, schools and a Children home, where each of them have been telling their own created stories to children in 10 sessions.
“Part of the training was also, to show their organizing talents and children coaching skills by organizing the ‘Kids Night Out’ of 2019, which took place last Saturday in the Philipsburg Cultural Center.
“The storytellers were evaluated and coached during their assignments. Those coaches were Yvonne Dick, Edna Rijkaard, Renate Sluisdom, Ingrid Holaman and Loekie Morales. Teacher-Instructor Diana Lebacs has come over from Curaꞔao to finalize the evaluations on the Kids Night Out assignments of the candidate storytellers.”
‘We are most happy to present to Sint Maarten our first certificated storytellers, who can serve our community with the best own produced stories, they can tell on events. They can also serve the Library and the schools during for example a Children book week or Story telling week,’ Loekie Morales stated.
“Parliament member and former Minister of Education-Culture-Youth and Sports, Silveria Jacobs, has handed over the Storytelling certificates to the storytellers.
“Fleur Hermanides (representative Samenwerkende Fondsen) and Marjan de Visser (representative of Nederlandse Taal Unie) were present at the Certificate ceremony, when the storytellers have shared their experiences they had during their assignments.
“Mrs. Jacobs, Diana Lebacs, the representatives of our Sponsors and the chairlady of Beyond Kultura Events Foundation, Loekie Morales have been saying words of encouragement to the storytellers for their future performances,” BKE said on Tuesday.
Loekie Morales, chair of BKE says ‘I am very happy with the success of this Storytelling project. It is nog only the figure 86% passing of candidates for the basic requirements of being a storyteller (12 of the 14 candidates), but also the fact that we have reached so many children with beautiful stories and have gotten a 100% happy faces with children and adults, when telling our stories.’
‘Today we can congratulate all our storytellers for showing perseverance in order to reach this milestone. We can thank all the participated entities like the primary schools, the afternoon activity school programs, the I Can Foundation and the Community centers of Sint Peters and Belvedere, for getting on board and facilitate our process,’ Rita Aikman, the treasurer of BKE says.
‘We could not reach so far without the financial support of the funding agencies like the Cooperative Funds Caribbean (Samenwerkende Fondsen Cariben), The Prins Bernhard Cultural Fund Caribbean and the Dutch Literacy Funding Agency (De Nederlandse Taal Unie). We thank them wholeheartedly for believing in the aim of this project and for putting moneys, guidance and efforts in such an important project for Sint Maarten,’ Morales says.
‘Finally, if you need storytellers, you can reach out to Beyond Kultura Events Foundation and we can provide you of dedicated storytellers,’ Morales concluded.