Beyond Kultura Events Foundation (BKE) hosted Kids Night Out, a storytelling night, on the evening of Saturday, July 6, in Philipsburg Cultural Center. Many children and their parents showed up and enjoyed the programme: a variety of dancing, singing, skits, gymnastics, and even a raffle for great prizes!

For the last three months, Beyond Kultura has been training 14 adults to become Storytellers. Some 14 candidates took part in a weekend workshop from March 22 – 24.

The participants developed the basic skills of storytelling, including puppet show techniques. Well-known authors and storytellers Loekie Morales and Diana Lebacs taught the weekend course.

Right after the training, participants embarked on a practical phase, which lasted from April through June. BKE engaged 10 primary schools, 2 community centers, some afternoon schools and a children’s home in the project.

Candidate storytellers have been telling 10 stories to the children. As part of their assignment and grading, the storyteller participants organised Kids Night Out, where children and parents could enjoy quality time together. Kids Night Out was well attended.

Teacher Lebacs, a children’s book author, storyteller and drama teacher, flew over from Curaçao to finalise the grading of the storyteller participants. ‘With this exposure moment, the Storytellers could let the world see what skills they master, to not only create their own stories and tell those to children and adults, but to also organise the story and the entourage around it,’ Lebacs, stated.

The representative of one of the sponsors, Mrs De Visser of De Nederlandse Taal Unie, was present and was happy to see the Kids Night Out as one of the end results of the Storytelling programme.

The Prins Bernhard Cultural Fund Caribbean and the Samenwerkende Fondsen (Cooperative Funds) Cariben are supporting the Beyond Storytelling and Expression programme as well.

‘We have seen many happy faces during this Kids Night Out, and that is exactly our goal,’ said BKE Chairlady Loekie Morales.

Pictured: A story called the three little pigs. (Alfonso Blijden photo).