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Tales from Middle School:

Students Shine during CSC Pop-up Storytelling Club

In a recent immersive after-school experience, the Blue Slipper Theatre echoed with laughter, camaraderie, and the enthusiastic voices of seven middle school students who participated in Tales from Middle School, CSC’s latest Pop-up Club. A collaboration between Sleeping Giant Middle School, Elk River Arts and Lectures, and Community School Collaborative, this unique initiative not only provided a platform for these students to explore the art of storytelling but also served as an impactful opportunity for career exposure.

The Pop-up Club unfolded over three afternoons, two of which were spent brainstorming, writing, and practicing storytelling - all culminating in a mesmerizing live performance on the Blue Slipper stage. Experienced storytellers from Elk River Arts & Lectures, Bex Frucht and Tessa Moeckel, guided students as they discovered and refined their storytelling abilities while reflecting on careers in communication.

Students were introduced to the art of storytelling as a form of expression and communication—an essential skill in various professional fields. The students learned how to capture an audience, maintain engagement, and convey their ideas with clarity. Gina Morrison, the driving force behind this initiative, emphasized the broader impact on students' futures.

"This Pop-up Club not only aimed to foster a love for storytelling but also served as an excellent platform for career exposure. The ability to articulate ideas, share experiences, and captivate an audience is a skill that extends far beyond the stage. It's a crucial skill in any career, from public speaking to marketing and beyond," explained Morrison.

The pinnacle of the Pop-up Club was the live storytelling night on Friday, January 26, where students took center stage to share their tales with friends and family. The theatre was abuzz with anticipation as each student bravely stepped into the spotlight, delivering narratives that ranged from humorous anecdotes to heartfelt reflections.

The live performance not only showcased the progress made by the students but also highlighted the transformative power of storytelling. As the young storytellers shared their experiences, the audience was taken on a journey, providing a unique perspective into the lives of middle schoolers and the challenges they navigate.

Morrison states "It's not just about academics; it's about preparing our kids for the real world. The skills they learned here—confidence, storytelling, and public speaking—are invaluable, regardless of the path they choose in the future."


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