World Read Aloud Day 2017 with Pomegranate Workshop

To me, stories are our experiences and illusive thoughts expressed to our audiences in various forms.
How would you define STORIES?

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We all have so many stories to tell. Some insignificant ones about our mundane life, adventurous ones about our travels, crazy encounters or a tragic tale of our past. Some of us are extremely imaginative and can narrate a story as if it were all true. We are all storytellers in our own ways. We use various mediums to communicate stories. The most widely used medium are books. Books contain so many stories about the real world of real people and other living beings or a fictional world filled with unique characters of one’s vivid imagination. Many books are enhanced with artistic illustrations as well, especially children’s books.

In February 2017, I started working at The Pomegranate Workshop. We do a lot of art and literature related workshops. We are tied-up with many schools where we read out loud to children of all age groups. It’s such fun reading aloud at different pitches along with funny actions and crazy expressions. It adds so much life to the story while reading aloud. The kids enjoy such carefree sessions and we love bringing something new each time with the aim of making them into readers from a younger age. This very experience we wanted to share amongst strangers on Carter Road, Bandra, Mumbai on World Read Aloud Day celebrated worldwide on 16th of February 2017, every year.

The evening began with us reading aloud to kids from various NGO’s. I read The Brave Baby to kids from AAKANSHA. After which we also did a fun activity which made the kids really very happy. While reading I danced like a silly person wearing a headgear made from a strip of paper and feathers. It was such an impromptu act, I didn’t realize how engrossed I got in the moment. The children had such interest in the story and that pushed me to do the unplanned. I made them dance as well during the story and the joy on their faces made my day! We also made the kids make their own Native American headgears and they went crazy with the craft!

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Simultaneously, my colleagues were reading aloud to other groups of children and adults as well. They read many stories and poems in English, Hindi and Marathi. Even a few street kids came to us and heard our stories and kept lurking around for more. It warmed my heart seeing the participation. Some children met me earlier in the evening and were quite intrigued by what’s happening and after I told them about it, they wanted to participate but they had to go for their tuitions at that time. They told me they would come back later in the evening, so they did, all of them, and a few more too. I witnessed little toddlers being mesmerized by our facilitator’s actions and narration whilst many elderly ladies and gentlemen enjoyed more than one story with great interest.

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Each of the facilitators put their heart and soul to make this happen. We also did two workshops to enhance our story-telling skills. Thanks to Joy Fernandes for teaching us new expressive ways to narrate a story and how to use our skills in the best way. The process of the entire event is what made us super happy at the end. Can’t wait to be a part of this next year.

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Did you know about World Read Aloud Day? Have you read aloud to anybody? Would you want to participate in such an event? Let me know in the comments section below 🙂

P.S. The Pomegranate Workshop is conducting interesting Summer Workshops for children and young adults. Do visit www.tpw.in for further details on the same.

-Zainab Attari

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