On March 10, North Garner Middle School and the Garner Educational Foundation (GEF) teamed together for the ninth annual Garner Storytelling Festival.
The festival hosted professional speakers from Willa Brigham, an Emmy award winner, to Timmy and Susana Abell, John Golden and Cyndi Bailey Morgan.
But the main attractions of the day were the students.
As the professional storytellers finished, it was time for the students from 11 different schools to take on the stage and tell their stories.
“The kids get a chance to tell a story, express themselves and gain confidence,” Media and Technology chair for the Garner Educational Foundation Margret Bingham said. “It helps promote creativity.”
While the students settled in on the stage and told their stories with a heart full of passion there was, however, something more than just a story being told. There was a sort of confidence, a sort of success building for a lifetime.
“Getting comfortable prepares them for success in life,” Susan Adams, youth services supervisor for the Southeast Regional Library, said.
Mindy King, the media coordinator at Vance Elementary school, said that students’ confidence with performing on stage “will definitely help them with public speaking skills in the future in addition with performance, getting up in front of people and knowing that they don’t have to be afraid of their peers. That they can still get up and be who they are and do what they love to do and people will accept that, and not only accept that, they will applaud it.”
But what is it that pushes the students to tell their stories?
“I just like acting out and pretty much allowing to be funny,” Vance Elementary fifth grader William Davis said.
Breanna Jernigan, another fifth grader at Vance said, “You get a chance to go in front of people and perform and shine.”
Without a little guidance, the students couldn’t do this alone.
“I think that’s the reason most of us have confidence in ourselves and for all of our lives is because of our teacher Mrs. King,” Jernigan said.