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Learn how to tell your story with new program in Parksville

Building Learning Together Technology Learning Centre program aims to create connections between generations

Do you have a story to tell? Learn how to capture it and share it with others at the upcoming MyStory program hosted through the team at the Building Learning Together Technology Learning Centre in Parksville.

“It means a lot to people to tell their stories,” said BLT manager Judi Malcolm. “We don’t want to lose that power of storytelling.”

According to a news release, there will be two introductory sessions to the program, starting with Once Upon a Story with professional storyteller Marva Blackmore. Here you’ll learn the skills that you’ll need to tell a story, and you can attend either Monday, Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. or Monday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. Second, will be Story Showcase with songwriter/musician and the program’s co-ordinator Gerry Barnum on Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 10 a.m. or Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. During this lesson, you will discover the technological options available to share your story.

Malcolm said participants can choose to use blogs, sound recordings, storybooks, audio CDs, slideshows and more. “We’ll teach them to do all of those things,” she added.

Barnum also said that the team has the resources to help capture “a day in the life” tales, but not full life stories.

After the initial sessions, technology specialist Heidi Abbott said that the MyStory program will continue on Mondays and Wednesdays at the same morning and evening times until March. During these sessions, volunteers and experts including herself, Blackmore, Barnum and photographer Gordon LaFleur will be on hand to teach participants the skills needed to tell their stories. Participants do not need to bring any equipment, but they are invited to bring their own devices if they wish. Abbott also said that people can simply come in and tell their stories to volunteers, who will then turn them into projects.

Abbott also said that if they find many participants aren’t able to make the Monday and Wednesday sessions, the staff are willing to move dates and times around to suit as many people as possible. All ages are welcome to attend the sessions as Abbott said the program is funded by a new horizons for seniors grant and thus one of the main outcomes of the program is meant to be intergenerational interaction (either in-person or through stories). “I want to see these connections happen,” she said. However, she also asked that underage children come with a supervising adult.

She also said that people are welcome to attend the drop-in hours at the Technology Learning Centre lab for extra time on their projects; volunteers are often on-hand during this time.

Barnum said that the program sessions are actually the second phase of the MyStory project. Over the past few months, he has gone to a number of residential care facilities in the area to gather stories. “We’ve done a lot of interviews with people who can’t come to us,” he said. So far, they have stories on pioneer life, school days, home remedies, traditions and  “a few bear stories” to later turn into stories. “We wanted to capture some of them before they were gone,” he said. “We wanted to let people know they are interesting.”

MyStory volunteer Richard Peeke-Vout said the program is also looking to connect with people in hospice and individuals with elderly or sick relatives. “It would give us the opportunity to put something together that they could send to their family,” he said.

All aspects of the MyStory program are free, as are the drop-in sessions at the TLC lab. For more information on the program or to reserve your seat in an introductory session, contact 250-947-8252 or mystory.blt@gmail.com. You can also register at http://oblt.ca/mystory/

 

 

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