Story Forum operates School Year, Summer Experience, and Community programs. All of our programs focus on weaving together the social, emotional, and cognitive life of participants, and are based on a narrative arts philosophy (visual, performing, digital, and literary arts) that we believe defines and connects us.

School Year Programs

School Year programs include weekly after school and weekend programs, and school vacation break camps. After school and weekend programs are currently located within 4 Shaker elementary schools (K-6); they serve up to 18 students per school in four 8 week sessions. School break programs coincide with school breaks ranging from 1 to 5 days.

1-2-3 Summer Sampler 2020

For the summer 2020, Story Forum is offering interactive, virtual, small group programming. In addition, we are building opportunities for responsible social reconnection in area parks as guided by the CDC and area standards.
Each 1-2-3 session is 1 hour per day, 2 days per week, 3 weeks per session.

Community programs

Community programs are stand alone, 1 time events and include Pocket Park Pop Ups (PPPU) and Forums. PPPU are free 1 hour storytelling events located at parks and recreation venues throughout Shaker. We bring the narrative arts toolkit–including performance and visual art tools! Participants bring the story, and we collaborate to bring the story to life.
Forums currently include “1st & 3rds,” for grades 6-8, a Friday night drop-in story collaborative social; and Forums–curated story conversations covering a range of subjects, occurring in a variety of locations, and open to a range of ages.

StoryForum Programs in a Nutshell

*Ratio adults to participants


We come at stories from a variety of perspectives that we call Storytellers, Passports, and Out in the World. The perspective is always driven by the children.


Storytellers takes children on a journey using their own stories–both real and imagined.

Primary Activities:


StoryBuilders is an extremely engaging and beloved story production and performance activity. Led by program associates, participants become their own character living in a group created setting and living out a collaboratively inspired plot. This collaborative story takes shape as a play, computer game, comic, film or art object. Instructors guide social and emotional learning through socratic probing for character motivation and consequences.

Personal Story Narratives

Identity and “moment-in-time” stories capture those stories that shape and define us all. From how we were named to holiday traditions (including food, of course), we capture stories with a focus on exploring self concept. Often we start with the physical self portrait, the family portrait, and neighborhood. Our conversations focus on the relationships children have with each of these selves.


Passports moves youth out of their comfort zone and challenges them to expand their boundaries of friends, family, and community.

The Passport activities range from tracing our roots to meeting and considering the cultures of those who live on the other side of the planet.


OitW builds on young people’s evolving sense of agency and desire to demonstrate and test their talents and interests. We help youth articulate their beliefs, then be of service to those beliefs.

Primary OitW Activities use forms of service learning, mentoring, and apprenticing to challenge young people’s interests.


In addition to the narrative arts programming, we keep the needs of mind and body in check. The following activities round out our programs:

Touchpoints and Community circles

Within large or small group gatherings, young people express their thoughts–what’s hot on their minds; they evaluate the remains of the day, and voice their hopes for what comes next.

Mindfulness/Self Care/Yoga

Young people tune into their minds and bodies and begin to appreciate their rhythms.

Fun and Games

Emotional and social themes are woven into collaborative physical activities using large and small muscles and include nature walks and lawn games (bocci, magnetic darts, obstacle courses, scavenger/treasure hunts) weather permitting.

Refresh time

Everyone needs a stretch of time to let their minds wander. We build in ½ – 1 hour of “me” time into our full day programs where children rest, then exercise self choice activities.

Snacks or meals

Everyone pitches in to serve and clean up; everyone waits to be seated and served; and everyone waits until all are done before moving on to the next activity.