NC Storyteller Shares Her Craft with Halifax County High School Students

Storyteller Linda Gorham at May 2019 school event. Source: Chatesha R. Dickens, Halifax County Schools, NC
Storyteller Linda Gorham at May 2019 school event. Source: Chatesha R. Dickens, Halifax County Schools, NC

Everyone loves a great story!  Linda Gorham, renowned Cary, North Carolina storyteller, introduced the art of storytelling to Halifax County Schools’ high school students during a storytelling event on Friday, May 24, 2019. The event was hosted by Southeast Collegiate Prep Academy, located at 16683 Hwy-125 East, Halifax, NC.

Linda Gorham’s storytelling performance was sensational! She used the art of storytelling as a way to connect, entertain and pass along important information and life lessons. Linda engaged the audience of students with scary, twisted fairy tales and heartfelt stories about school life. Her stories were brilliantly filled with surprising twists, music and unconventional humor. Each performance was infused with her unique, signature ‘sophisticated attitude.’ Linda certainly drew the students into her world of storytelling with her initial story performances of “Bugs” and “Mean Jean” which was evident by “outbursts of laughter” and the scare of an unexpected, perfectly timed scattering of a “bug-like dust ball” (that creepily made its way across the floor towards the students and was scooped up by the principal).  The art of Storytelling is reflected in the artist’s voice control, tone and ability to use a storyline to paint word pictures, using sound, rhythm and repetition of words. Linda definitely captivated the audience with such engagement as some students volunteered to participate in the expressions of story dialogue, while others intriguingly listened and anticipated a varying story climate.

Linda Gorham provided students an opportunity to inquire about her storytelling profession. Students asked about her college major and journey into the storytelling profession.

“Everyone loves a great story”, said Superintendent, Dr. Eric Cunningham. “The power of story is truly life changing.” He believes arts education in schools is essential to the development of the “whole child”, and is excited about the Halifax County Arts Council partnership.

Dr. Tyrana Battle, Assistant Superintendent of Administration & Accountability, is the District’s Arts in Education Grant Facilitator. “This is the District’s first time ever hosting a storyteller performance for high school students. This was such a positive literary experience for our students,” she said.

The storyteller event was made possible through the Halifax Arts Council’s Grassroots Grants Opportunities. The principal of Southeast Collegiate Prep Academy (SCPA), Dr. Gregory Monroe, sat at the edge of his seat as Linda Gorham performed. “This was a great learning experience for the students of SCPA,” he said. “In the classroom, students learn about the elements of story in literature, and this storytelling event helped them to make those connections.”

Students were fascinated by the storyteller’s performance, and asked to take pictures with Mrs. Gorham. With warmth and appreciation of the high school students’ request, Linda Gorham welcomed the selfies and picture taking.

Linda Gorham’s storytelling performance was not your average story time event, wherein students gather around for the reading of a great book. The District looks forward to adding the integration of the storytelling genre into its project-based learning approach.


Source: Chatesha R. Dickens, Halifax County Schools

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