FLORENCE – Francis Marion University will host 2,400 third-graders from Florence and Marion counties for the second-annual Pee Dee Festival of Stories, May 11-12.
The event is sponsored by FMU, the Florence County Library, the Marion County Library and all school districts in Florence and Marion counties.
More than 1,800 students from Florence County’s five school districts and 600 students from Marion County’s four school districts will experience the art of storytelling through mime, puppetry and traditional storytelling.
Events will be held at the McNair Science Building auditorium and the Smith University Center on campus.
The featured storyteller is David Novak, creator of numerous picture books including “The Little Ant” and “A Letter From Dad.” Nationally known mime Bill Benfield and puppeteer Sue Woods will also perform.
Novak has been featured at the National Storytelling Festival and as a master storyteller at the Disney Institute in Orlando, Fla. He will also present free public programs at the Marion Opera House on May 11 and at the Florence County Library on May 12. Both performances begin at 7 p.m.
Last year’s festival attracted almost 1,800 third-graders, their teachers and chaperones for a one-day event. Marion schools were added this year and the festival was expanded to two days, with some 1,200 students expected each day. Participants will be divided into three groups of 400 and each group will experience all three performances each day.
“The festival came together last year, thanks to the cooperation and careful joint planning of the Florence County Library and FMU staffs,” said Paul Dove, FMU library dean. “This year’s festival will reach even more children, bringing them an exciting day of marionettes, mime, and storytelling.”
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