Storyteller coming to Craig schools |

Storyteller coming to Craig schools

Josh Nichols

Three year old Molly Maier is lucky.

Every night when she asks for a bedtime story, she has a professional story teller at her bedside.

Her father, Christopher Maier, travels the country telling childrens stories.

She has two characters, Dolly and Silly Lilly, and she tells me something that she wants in each nights story, Maier said. Its great training.

Maier will share the stories he invents at his daughters request with local students and their families Thursday Night at the Sagebrush Reading Councils Family Literacy Night at the Moffat County High School Auditorium.

Maier not only tells his stories, but becomes the characters he tells stories about, whether it be a Spanish-speaking gypsy or the Pied Piper of Stories.

Drawing on his experience as a playwright, and a college degree in speech and theatre arts, Maier acts, dances and sings his stories to students for whom he performs.

Last spring Maier told his stories at Sunset Elementary School.

The students loved him, said first grader teacher Kris Bye. We liked him so much we went to the Sagebrush Reading Council and said we have to have him back.

Moffat County reading mentor Janele Husband, who organizes the Family Literacy Nights, has not seen Maiers performance but said she is anxious to see what he does.

The Sunset staff raved about him, Husband said. Im interested in seeing what he does.

Maier outline three keys to engaging his young audiences.

One guideline he follows, he said, is to make sure he has fun telling his stories.

I try to play and have fun, he said. If the audience sees you playing and having fun they have fun.

He also tries to involve his listeners and make the story interactive.

I give them a role to play and ask them rhetorical questions so they have to think about what Im saying, he said.

Maier said the third key is variety.

This includes vocal variety and mood variety, he said.

Some stories are comical and some are serious.

Maier also incorporates Spanish into some of his stories, an aspect of his performance that enabled him to engage many of the young students who spoke Spanish last year at Sunset Elementary School.

It was more fun last year because he was bilingual, Bye said. He hooked into the Spanish speaking students. It brought the whole school together.

Maier said he loves seeing the young Spanish speaking students faces when they hear him speak in their first language, something those students dont often get.

I see their eyes light up because its one case where they understand first, he said. Thats a real treat for them.

Maier, who lives in Denver, will spend two days in the schools with students, Husband said.

He will be at Ridgeview Elementary School Thursday afternoon, Sunset Elementary School Friday morning and East Elementary School Friday afternoon.

Maiers performance begins at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The show is for students in preschool through the sixth grade. Admission is free, but each student must be accompanied by an adult.

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