Staten Island Youth Explore Literacy through Traditional Liberian Folktales
West African refugee and immigrant parents in Staten Island often express concern about the difficulty their children have with reading. This summer, IRC and Century Dance Complex Kids N Teens Program (CDC) are partnering to ensure refugee youth get extra literacy support – while having fun, too. Supported by the Staten Island Foundation, IRC and CDC are implementing a Summer Literacy Enhancement Program. Through exploration of Liberian folk tales, IRC and CDC are helping students to mitigate the loss of critical learning acquired during the school year – or "summer slide" – and build new literacy skills. They are also learning about a culture that is prominent in the local community and part of many students’ personal heritage.
Since June 28th, 24 students have been reading and listening to folk tales, identifying and discussing morals, learning new vocabulary and practicing their acting skills. This week, they are starting to write their own folk tales. Of all their original stories, the students will select one folk tale to present in a public theatrical performance at CDC's 5th annual Staten Island International Dance Festival, which takes place Saturday, August 14, 2010 at Tappen Park in Staten Island. The students will share the stage with local dance troupes, professional companies, and other performers in a day dedicated to celebrating diversity through the arts.
Additional details about the festival:
When: August 14, 2010, from 12:00 to 5:00 pm
Where: Tappen Park, Staten Island, on Canal Street between Bay & Wright Streets
(Tappen Park is one and one half miles from the Staten Island Ferry on Canal Street between Bay & Wright Streets. The SIR Stapleton stop will let you off across the street and the 74, 76, 51, 52 and 78 buses all stop near the Park.)