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Schools celebrate literacy month

"Sister" Yomi Goodall sings to children at Knox Elementary School on Tuesday. Goodall is telling stories to elementary school students throughout the city as a part of National Literacy Month. -- Robert Hudson

By Robert Hudson

The Selma Times-Journal


Everyone has a story to tell, but the Selma City Council is hoping the stories told to students throughout the month of November will help improve literacy throughout the city.

As a part of November being National Literacy Month, the Selma City Council is sponsoring the “Tellebration” for the elementary schools of Selma.

The Tellebration is where students from elementary schools around the city will be told stories by storyteller “Sister” Yomi Goodall with a goal to help those students comprehend the stories they are told and read.

Goodall, who told stories to the students on Knox Elementary school on Tuesday, said storytelling is a great way to teach young minds.

“Storytelling is a powerful teaching tool,” Goodall said. “It’s been proven that storytelling has the impact of reading the story four times over to a child.

“Because I’m an interactive and a very dramatic storyteller, I engage the children in the story, which encourages them to read the story.”

Goodall’s dramatic style of storytelling includes singing, acting out parts of the story and getting the children in the crowd involved by having them repeat back what they’ve heard in the story.

Goodall said it’s important to get the children interested in reading because literacy will be the key to their futures.

“We know how important it is for children to be able to read, so as an alt educator I’m just a community resource person who goes into various educational facilities and basically spread the same message that the teachers, the principals, the administrators are already saying to our children — you must learn to read,” Goodall said. “If you want to succeed, you’ve got to read.”

James Darin Pope, principal of Knox Elementary School, said the more literate students become, the more they’ll improve in other areas of their education.

“Promoting reading is very important for our education program because if our kids can understand through literacy they can understand the math, the reading, the science and all aspects of our curriculum,” Pope said.

“Our goal is 100 percent literacy in all of our schools and that’s one thing we do to promote it in our system is making sure are kids are able to read and understand what they’re reading.”

Goodall will also tell stories at Clark Elementary School on Dec. 2 at 9:30 a.m., Sophia P. Kingston Elementary School on Dec. 2 at 1:30 p.m. and Meadowview Elementary School on Dec. 5 at 2 p.m.

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