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Posted January 22, 2013

nex+Gen Academy Hosts Storytelling Event Inspired by The Moth

Eight students representing all four grades will share true stories about “A Time You Surprised Yourself” during the event beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at the school, 5325 Montgomery NE.

Students at nex+Gen Academy will share personal narratives about “A Time You Surprised Yourself” during a storytelling event inspired by The Moth, a national group dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling.

The true stories shared by a couple of students from each grade will commence at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at the school, 5325 Montgomery NE (behind Del Norte High School. Entrance on San Mateo).

Megan Parry, the 12th grade facilitator for English and social studies at nex+Gen, said she was inspired by The Moth, which sponsors events across the nation featuring "true stories told live." "We thought it would be a great idea to give our students an opportunity to tell their own stories," she said.

All of the school's 250 students participated in the project through their humanities classes. They wrote their narratives, revised them and then prepared to present them. They didn't memorize them and they won't read them aloud; they use the written versions only to help map out their performances.

"These are performances, but they are not impromptu. They are planned stories, but not memorized. They're stories the students know well, and they've figured out how to tell them well," said Parry.

Students have been telling their stories throughout the week, in their classes and at lunch, to one another. Those who wish to perform on Friday will put their names in a hat and two representatives from each of the four grades will be chosen to perform. Perry said this is customary for Moth events.

In addition to preparing their own stories, students studied a range of personal narratives from the short stories of David Sedaris to the novel "Catcher in the Rye."

Perry said students have enjoyed the multidisciplinary project. "They've been working on their writing skills, being able to craft a well-written story. Public speaking is a major element, being able to stand up in front of an audience. There’s a huge cultural piece in that lots of students are telling personal stories in a culture where they can feel safe enough to share. And they're learning how to be a part of a good audience," Perry said.

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