Programs

PROGRAMS

Overview

Overview

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.

PARTNERSHIPS

RADIO ON THE LAKE THEATRE

Radio on the lake theater logo

Story Forum in partnership with Radio on the Lake Theatre offers the following radio play writing and performing programs, which give young people an opportunity to create stories and bring them to life.

RadioKids:
For grades K-5, RadioKids uses a collaborative approach to story building where children build and perform a radio play based on their own unique characters, which come together to solve an original problem.
From the Middle:
Middle school students in grades 6-8 assume the roles of a group of adolescent archetypes who tease out, struggle with, and resolve poignant age appropriate conflicts.
Inspired By:
High school students, under the mentorship of a professional playwright, write radio plays inspired by an intriguing school newspaper story. Using a student director, these plays are then performed by student actors.

LISTEN HERE

RadioKids
From the Middle
Inspired By

The Shaker Centennial Garden &
First Annual Harvest Festival

Shaker Centennial logo
A Partnership between Story Forum, The Shaker Historical Society, and YOU!
On the grounds of The Shaker History Museum, Shaker area families will work together to create The Shaker Centennial Garden and Harvest Meal celebrating stories covering 400 years of diverse and unique culture and horticulture in Northeast Ohio and Shaker. They will not only help to construct four raised beds, nurture heirloom seedlings, and prepare the soil for planting, but they will also tend and harvest the crops. Additionally, participating families will bring to life the story of the many heritages of our area through a myriad of activities.
Throughout the summer, family members will record these stories in a hardbound book for all to share. Stories can range from realistic to historical fiction and take various forms along the way–poetry, plays, comics, or wherever their creativity takes them. As a culminating activity, families are invited to a potluck Harvest Meal celebrating the history of peoples and cultures. Entertainment includes a collaborative story, created and performed by ~willing~ participants. “The willing” will participate in 8 playwriting workshops in preparation.

NARRATIVE ARTS APPROACHES

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 (ST)

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

Primary Activities:

StoryBuilders

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 (PP)

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.

OUT IN THE WORLD (OitW)

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.

ACTIVITIES WOVEN THROUGHOUT EACH PROGRAM

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.