The Cumming Library hosted the third annual Literacy Forsyth Digital Storytelling Camp the week of July 21st. Since its inception the camp has gone from nine campers to this year’s thirty attendees. Each year with the help of library computers, iPads, other technologies, and eResources, the students are taught to create a Digital Story.
The students were born in eight different countries and spoke many different languages including English, Spanish, Tagalog, Hindi, Ukrainian, Russian, Thai, Lao Language, Taiwanese, and Chinese. These students represented all four high schools in the county plus three middle schools. There was even one 5th grader from Cumming Elementary. Another young camper has been in the United States for a month but was already excited about starting school this fall.
On Monday morning, Denise Leeson and Julie Boyd participated in ice breaker party games to help everyone learn names and to feel comfortable with staff. The class began with each student designing his or her own personal atlas which showed place of birth and provided information about each student. One young man went home and brought his back the next day with a 3-D house including a battery operated garage door and lights. Having a family home was the most important thing to him.
Each student wrote personal narratives, took and gathered photos, made videos, and collected music to incorporate into their own personal stories. The Cumming Library Youth Services staff also presented book talks, gave a tour of the library, held eResource scavenger hunts, and played games with the students during the day. One budding graffiti artist painted a mural out by the dumpsters.
On Thursday evening a preview party was held for the students and their families and many of the stories were shared while enjoying a lovely dinner together. On Friday all the stories were finished and the students hosted a viewing party for library staff members as well as Literacy Forsyth Board members, and representatives from the United Way and the press. This year we had repeat campers and one young lady from the first year of camp (who graduated high school in May) was back as a translator and volunteer. She also provided all the students with a goodie bag of supplies for school. The group had such a great time this year that Literacy Forsyth is considering holding monthly meetings so the students can all stay in touch as they are all still learning English this year.