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Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities to offer July storytelling institute for West Virginia teachers

ISSUED: 2 January 2024
MEDIA CONTACT: Cecelia Mason

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities will offer a storytelling institute for West Virginia teachers July 22-26 featuring award-winning storyteller Adam Booth. Thanks to a $16,000 grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council, kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers from across the state in all disciplines can participate, with preference given to humanities applicants.

The institute, titled “The Art of Storytelling: Teaching and Telling in the Classroom Across the Curriculum,” will be offered both virtually and in person. Teachers taking part will earn either a certificate of completion or receive three hours of graduate credit. They will also receive a $500 stipend to cover expenses and for resources or materials to enhance their classroom.

“West Virginia teachers themselves chose this teacher institute,” said Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities, who polled participants in last year’s summer institute to see what topics they were interested in learning about. “Teachers understand why storytelling is so important in the educational process of children.”

The 2024 summer institute aims to engage teachers in the art of telling stories that inspire students, demonstrate the power of storytelling in helping self-esteem and confidence, and enhance classroom learning in all subjects and grade levels. Participants will study a diverse and influential group of Appalachian storytellers, learn the characteristics and skills needed for first-rate storytelling, and translate these skills into various styles of teaching.

Booth is an internationally known storyteller, four-time West Virginia storytelling champion, and founder of the Speak Story Series. His recordings have won Parents’ Choice awards and four Storytelling World Awards.

Storyteller Noa Baum will join Booth. She is an award-winning storyteller, author, coach, and public speaker who has touted the “power of the story to ignite the imagination, spark innovation, and facilitate connection, communication, and collaboration.”

For information or to apply for the July institute, contact Shurbutt at or visit the teacher institute webpage.

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