Gift your child a story from My Little Chatterbox or Ever After, two city-based story telling initiatives

Storytelling is a social medium that educates, entertains and instils moral values in children. Unfortunately today with busy schedules of working parents and the prevalence of nuclear family, children are losing out on the benefits of storytelling. This is where story telling centres in the city help.

‘My Little Chatterbox’ is a story telling and communication program started by Bangalore-based Falak Randerian in August 2012. Falak developed the idea of a story-telling program after a long stint in Corporate Communications, when her biggest inspiration, her daughter was born. A Bag full of stories is a series of storytelling sessions for children from 1.5 to 10 years where they also discover the world of books and develop literacy skills in a fun hands-on way.

“We were the first to host a story telling session for kids as young as 18 months in Bangalore,” says Falak. “Based on a particular theme, the sessions go beyond storytelling, we discuss the stories, analyze, do art and craft activities related to the story. We have conducted themes like ‘Books we Love’, ‘Around the World Stories’ and ‘In the Wild Adventure’.”

Tale in a Mail is a monthly subscription box of handpicked books for children between 0-6 years with curated content with age-specific suggestions. There is also a Communication Program for children between four to 12 years and there are plans to start a Phonics Program across Bangalore as well.

Falak believes that storytelling has a healing power. “I have seen kids who weren’t ready to open up, evolve into little chatterboxes over my session. I’m told that is because they feel so comfortable as I take them in the world of stories. Seeing a five-year-old write their own little stories is magical and even more magical is seeing their parent’s reaction.”

‘Ever After’, is an after-school experience centre founded by ex-corporate trainer Deeptha Vivekanand in April this year. Deeptha says, “I’ve always wanted to run a learning centre that uses alternate and engaging methods to teach concepts to children and young adults. My interest in education and teaching-learning methodologies was spawned through my work as a trainer. I had the chance to work with a leading storytelling organization for a year, during which I conducted workshops for schools, activity centres and book stores in Chennai and Bangalore for children and adults. After gaining more training and experience, I decided to launch my own centre”

A typical session at Ever After has a story at the epicenter of the learning process. Each story is followed up with level-appropriate exercises and activities to strengthen understanding. “Our program for six to eight year olds focuses on folktales from the different continents. Through the stories, we are able to weave in discussions about the history of the country, cultures, practices, landforms, wildlife etc. We have a digital storytelling program for youngsters between the ages of 12 and 15. Students learn the art of telling stories by combining a variety of multimedia tools such as graphics, audio, and video; and a session on basic photography.”

Deeptha believes that “A story is a great starting point for meaningful debate and discussion. The idea is simple: unless a person connects emotionally to a subject, no real learning can take place. And only a story is capable of doing that.”

To subscribe or know more about these programs, visit http://mylittlechatterbox.in/home.html and http://www.ever-after.co.in/