‘HAVE I GOT A STORY’: Young storytellers competed in a creative arts project at the 2015 4-H Regional

Published 2:00 am Saturday, June 13, 2015

Messenger photo/Jaine Treadwell A group of young storytellers competed in “Have I Got a Story” Friday. Becca Sean won first place honors in the intermediate-two division.

Messenger photo/Jaine Treadwell
A group of young storytellers competed in “Have I Got a Story” Friday. Becca Sean won first place honors in the intermediate-two division.

Whenever and wherever Alabama’s legendary storyteller, the late Kathryn Tucker Windham, told tales, she encouraged her audience, no matter the age, to go home and tell their stories.

On Friday, a group of young storytellers competed in “Have I Got a Story,” a creative arts project, at the 2015 4-H Regional competition held at Troy University. “

“Storytelling is one of our oldest traditions,” said Peggy Stroud, event coordinator. “Storytelling is a way to pass on history and to help us understood our world. Just as importantly, storytelling fulfills our need to entertain and to be entertained.

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“When a minister shares a parable or a comedian tells a funny story, they are continuing the ancient tradition of storytelling.”

Stroud said the young storytellers who competed in the “Have I Got a Story” regional competition were already winners.

“To compete in the regional competition, 4-H’ers have to win their county competition,” she said. “Having started in our region about six years ago, storytelling is a relatively new 4-H event. By adding storytelling as an event, we are hoping to encourage more young people to become interested in fables, folktales and Jack tales as well as in their family stories.”

Stroud said she was encouraged that the “2015 Have I Got a Story” competition included a variety of stories.

There were stories about Peter Rabbit, about a character named Grumpy and a crybaby. There was a telling about a tailor’s clothes and one about finding happiness in one’s work and another was a mystery.

Stroud said the variety of stories reflected the interests of the storytellers.

“I was very impressed that none of the storytellers had to refer to notes,” she said. “They told their stories from memory and were all articulate and very entertaining. They all did a good job and are to be congratulated.”

The winners of the “Have I Got a Story” intermediate-one division of the competition were Glory Williams, Russell County, first place; Joseph Woods, Russell County, second place, and Rebecca Simon, Covington County, third place.

Becca Senn, Coffee County, took first place honors in the intermediate-two competition and Danaysia Smith took second place.

Gabe Hamm, Henry County won the junior division of the storytelling competition, and Mason Corbett, Lee County, won first place in the senior division.

Those who compete in the junior and senior storytelling competitions are required to lead a community service project in their communities.

Hamm participated in several community service projects including collecting school supplies for children in need. He also provided chickens for events at Landmark Park in Dothan and sought donations of food for needy families in the Headland area.

Corbett organized an event for a nursing home in Lee County. He brought together nine of his friends who performed musical selections and dance routines for the residents. He has been invited for him and his group to entertain at another nursing home in the area.

“I was very pleased with the ‘Have I Got a Story’ competition,” Stroud said. “Gabe and Mason will represent our region at the state 4-H competition at the 4-H Camp in Columbiana. I’m sure they will represent us well. And, I’m looking forward to next year’s competition and hope to see more 4-H’ers tell their stories.”