During the February-June 2016 semester, the Making Connections Storytelling York Region project supported Grade 10 English teacher Mr Sean Pomokov and Grade 11 Communications Technology teacher Ms Anna Wilson and their students at Richmond Hill High School (RHHS) to write and create personal narrative, and inter-generational digital stories. Each class worked in teams of five students with a volunteer senior. Professional Storyteller Bruce Carmody assisted both classes in how to tell and write a compelling story.
By the end of the semester, the Comm Tech students had each learned how to create a personal narrative story, and as a student team working with their senior, produce a digital story about the senior’s lived experience.

Here are samples from the Grade 11 Communications Technology students’ course work and insights – Exploring the Art of Storytelling led by Ms Anna Wilson.

Reflection Magazine graphic design and template created by RHHS Grade 11 Communications Technology student, George Boutaev. Photo credits: Ms Anna Wilson.

A Message from Rosemary

This is the story, not of one person, but of a community. As this narrative begins, others will continue, or end, or begin as well. Some are happy; some are sad; some of the young and some of the old; some from those who have just arrived, full of memories and dreams of their community; some from those close at hand yet so far away.

This is a story of a combined voice. All worlds have to start from somewhere: a dream, an idea, a notion. Stories create a world full of possibilities and one so easily accessible, if only we could give our trust and time. Our tales and experiences are what shape people into what they will become. People connect and learn from one another through sharing their experiences and wisdom. Put together, they are perhaps our most valued human treasure.

Why should our stories, any one’s stories stay silent? Sometimes we forget the importance of sharing, of listening to others in our technologically advanced world. In this story here, we unite in hopes of sharing who we are with those out there willing to listen and enter our world.

Written by RHHS Grade 10 English students Sivian, Wendy, Sarah, Lekha and participating senior, Rosemary Park (also Making Connections Storytelling York Region project manager)

We all tell stories in our lives. What’s your story? What’s mine?
What’s our story?