Twenty fifth-grade students from Bret Harte and Thomas Edison Elementary Schools met for a Day of Story at the Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library on Thursday, March 1.
The students worked one-on-one with volunteer mentors from the Burbank area on developing an idea for a story and creating a movie poster for it, according to Burbank Unified Arts & CTE Coordinator Peggy Flynn.
Burbank Business Partners, a group of local business people who fund and mentor programs for Burbank public schools, wanted to offer a program for students who may not yet have had much exposure to arts, theater and storytelling.
Not every child will find a passion in math, science or sports, was Burbank Business Partners’ reasoning, and the group felt it was important to provide an additional outlet to help young students explore their creative and expressive sides.
So the BBP partners with Young Storytellers Foundation, an organization that has provided many programs over the years in Burbank public schools. In the Script to Stage program, YSF teaches students the elements of storytelling, while partnering each student with a mentor to guide and develop the young writer’s voice.
BBP is sponsoring the Script to Stage program for these students in the coming months. Over seven weeks, YSF and the volunteer mentors will provide sequential storytelling training once a week at Bret Harte and Edison schools for the participating students during lunch period.
The Script to Stage program will culminate in a Big Show at which the students’ stories are acted out by professional actors in front of the students and others.
“Burbank Business Partners is dedicated to the proposition that the success of our community depends upon the strength and quality of our schools and Burbank Business Partners is committed to engaging the entire community – businesses, teachers, parents, and students alike – to build partnerships that ensure we are not only meeting, but exceeding, the needs of our most precious commodity: our children,” commented BBP Chair Michael Cusumano.
“The Young Storytellers message is that every child has a story to tell and every voice is important,” Cusumano added.
“Our participation in Young Storytellers is an investment in our youth and is but another step towards enhancing the educational experience that is available in our community.”