Getting Ready

As the grandparents shared their stories with the Better World for Kids staff, it became clear that some of the stories were best for the very young children, but many excellent stories would be better used only for the older ones.  

It was decided that the grandparents would meet with their groups of children twice each week.  There would be nutritious food served and story telling with discussions.  And the support staff would play simple games with the children afterwards.

The grandparents and staff decided to organize the children for the storytelling sessions by age.  This would be helpful during the discussion period as well, so that the older children would be welcome to bring up worries they had without upsetting the youngest ones.  And when they played games afterwards, the chldren would be playing with others at their own skill levels.

During the next two weeks, they decided to tell each story in parts. The grandparent would tell the first part, then pause for discussion and questions.  How did the story make the children feel?  Was there something in their lives like the events in the story?  What did they think might happen next?

Then the grandparent would tell a second part.  Another pause for questions, with lots of time for the children to participate.  And then the final part and the final discussion.  Did the children like this story?  What did they learn from it?  

Once the story telling got started, it moved fast.  The children loved the stories and brought them home to tell their siblings and their parents.

They discovered that more children could attend in the afternoon than in the morning.  Mornings were for work.  The older children had to help their parents tend the crops in their small alotted garden plots, and the younger ones had to stay home to watch the babies.  

Still the children were glad to attend the storytelling.  15 to 20 children would come in the mornings; 40 to 50 in the afternoons, when it was too hot to work.  So many children attended that when it rained hard one day, there was not enough room for them in the shelters they had planned to use in bad weather, and they had to move to a nearby church building.