FLORENCE -- All third graders in the five Florence school districts will congregate on Francis Marion University's campus Thursday, March 11 for the Florence County Storytelling Festival.
In the works for months, the event is sponsored by the Florence County Library and occurs during FMU's Spring Break. Other sponsors include the Florence County Council, Florence County School Districts, FMU, Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Roche Carolina Inc. and S & W Printing.
The goal is to provide the 1,700 third graders in the county's five school districts the opportunity to experience the art of storytelling through mime, drama, puppetry, and traditional storytelling.
The 1,700 students, on campus during FMU’s Spring Break, will be divided into six groups to attend storytelling sessions around campus. Events will be held in the Cauthen Educational Medica Center auditorium, the Hyman Fine Arts Center, the McNair Science Building auditorium, and in various sites in the Smith University Center.
Beginning promptly at 9:30 a.m., the groups will hear and see Will Shaw of Georgetown, mime; Bill Benfield of Charlotte, mime; Darion McCloud of Columbia, storyteller; Jennie Spann of Conway, storyteller; Columbia Marionette Theater of Columbia perform Hansel & Gretel; and Sue Wood Marionettes of Georgetown perform Rumpelstiltskin. The groups will rotate at 10:25 a.m. to see the programs not previously viewed. Paul Dove, library dean, underscores the number of faculty, staff and student helpers involved in the event.
"Lots of community coordination, have gone into this. Carolyn Mace-Sims has been the moving force behind it," he said. Mace-Sims is the program coordinator and head of youth services for the county library system.
The groups will come together at 11:15 in the Smith University Center gym to hear the award-winning "Storycrafters" of Philmont, N.Y.
Barry Marshall and Jeri Burns comprise the award winning Storycrafters and are known for their unique style of tandem storytelling and their creative integration of ethnic and classical musical instrumentals into their stories.
The Storycrafters will also present a free program, open to the public, at Moore Intermediate School in Florence at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Mace-Sims at 662-8424.