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The Griot’s Corner literacy program at Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park has added dates for the fall of 2019, in addition to Spring 2020. Griot’s Corner is designed for early readers from PreK through grade 3, and welcomes classes of up to thirty children for the program under the Big Oak Tree in the park. Stories center on diversity with this year’s special focus on relationships.

The presentations will be conducted in the traditional Griot style, the West African name for tribal history-keepers and story tellers, and will include guest readers from the community. The children will also share in activities like art, games and music related to the theme. Historic Mitchelville, the site of the first mandatory education program in South Carolina in 1862, keeps the spirit of public education alive through the tradition of storytelling to help encourage the importance of literature in the understanding of all people.

The programs will take place under the Big Oak Tree in Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, 229 Beach City Road, Hilton Head Island, on Thursday mornings starting at 10:00 a.m. Groups of up to 30 are recommended. There is ample parking for buses, and restrooms. The fee is $2.00 per child. Teachers will receive a copy of the book for their classroom or library. Total time for the program is approximately one hour.

The titles and dates for this year’s program are the following:

Featured books:

The Adventures of Connie and Diego

October 3, 10, 17, 24. The Adventures of Connie and Diego, by Maria Garcia – A brother and sister who are teased because of their very different appearance leave their home and venture through a forest, where many animals assist them on their journey to a better understanding of themselves and their world. This is a bilingual story based on a Mexican folktale and read in Spanish and English. Highly recommended for ESOL classes.

The Sandwich Swap

November 7 and 14. The Sandwich Swap, by Queen RaniAlAbdullah. The reigning Queen of Jordan, who is also UNICEF’s Official Advocate for Children, has written a funny and truthful story about best friends who disagree (about something silly, of course,) create havoc at school, wind up in the principal’s office, and then try to figure out a way to make things right again. A story we all can relate to leading up to our Thanksgiving holiday.

If a Bus could talk

February 6, 13, 20, 27. If A Bus Could Talk, by Faith Ringgold. Our favorite storyteller and illustrator from last year’s Black History Month returns with a fanciful tale of a young student who is picked up by a bus who talks to her, and tells her the fascinating true story of Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks. By the time they reach school, the student has a new view of an important era in history.

Just Like

March 5, 12, 19, 26. Just Like Josh Gibson, by Angela Johnson. America’s pastime, baseball, has a long history enjoyed by many people, and generations are bridged when a girl learns about heroes of the game from her grandmother – and learns an even more surprising story about her grandmother!

The Other Side

May 7, 14. The Other Side, by Jacqueline Woodson. Young people are restricted to “their side of the fence,” but find that the lure of being friends is more powerful than imposed restrictions. A lovely story in measured tones with real and simple conclusions.

Alternative Story for 3 year olds. Chrysanthemum, by Kevin Henkes.
If you find the selection for the day you would like to come too mature for your group, we offer this cute story about the effects of teasing that comes with very charming illustrations.

To make arrangements for your visit to Griot’s Corner, please call us at the offices of Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, 843-255-7301. *Special Arrangements, optional dates, and financial assistance for transportation can be discussed with the staff and we will do our best to meet your needs. The classes are held outdoors and may be subject to weather cancellation, which we will do in as timely a fashion as possible.