Skip to main content

The City Journals

Bella Vista students recount stories at the Storytelling Festival

Mar 27, 2017 10:32AM ● By Rubina Halwani

Children take photos with the tiger mascot after the festival. (Rubina Halwani/City Journals)

By: Rubina Halwani | [email protected]
The Storytelling Festival, a new event, was held at Bella Vista Elementary on March 7. In the days leading up to the festival, students competed in a classroom contest. Approximately 20 student representatives read self-chosen stories from memory. Parents, grandparents and children of all ages attended the evening festival.
“During the month of February we brought in several professional storytellers,” said Principal Cory Anderson. That was tied to the school’s Read Across America event. The principal also read a selection.
“Each classroom teacher selected one or two representatives from their classroom to move on to the festival,” said Anderson. The representatives read stories in classrooms and other locations within the school.
Readers ranged in age, grade and reading selection. While some read stories, others read shorter selections/poems. Many of the pieces were nursery stories, like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Others, lesser known, were “Two of Everything” and “Three Little Pigs vs. Three Bears.”
At the end of the evening, children grouped with family and peers to meet with the tiger mascot at the entrance of the school. Many families stood in line for a photo memory before heading home.
Julie Jeffs, computer lab faculty member and designated photographer for the event, said this was the first year for hosting this type of the event at the school. As she visited the different stations, she said she was very impressed with the turnout of over 100 people for the event.
Rebecca Randolph, a third-grade teacher, mentioned that each class had their own way of selecting students to read for the fair. Teachers selected some, while classmates chose others.
“In my class, we researched fairy tales and fractured fairy tales, which are the other side of fairy tales,” said Randolph. She said her class voted on the best students (one boy and one girl) to read at the fair.
Visitors were allowed to watch a five- to 10-minute selection in one area and rotate to other reading stations to see different performances.
Some members of the performing arts community were asked to judge each reading. Selected winners will then move on to the Canyons School District Story Weavers Festival on March 22 at the Administrative Building.
The Canyons School District website notes, “Story Weavers is a storytelling showcase that engages students in the pursuit of literature and the arts and nurtures the preservation of the oral tradition of storytelling.”

The district showcase will be a competition for K through eighth-grade students. Judging criteria for Story Weavers will focus on 11 aspects of delivery, such as poise, eye contact, pacing and voice expression. There is also judging criterion on story items like familiarity, uniqueness and flow.

More information on the Story Weavers competition can be found on the school district’s webpage: