Cabrini Immigrant Services (CIS), Dobbs Ferry, NY, held a Family STARS (StoryTelling, Art, Reading and Socialization) program. The goals of the STARS program is to increase the children’s literacy and listening skills and also to instill a love of books and learning.
This was the first time that we offered the program for the family. Dr. Wendy Mages, a professor from Mercy College and a trained storyteller, told the story, Where Are You From by Yamile Saied Mendez. After the story, Dr. Mages, shared her family story and spoke about where her family was from and where they settled in the US. The families then shared their stories.
Prior to the program, the parents were asked to bring in pictures of family, etc. from their home country. After sharing their individual stories, the parents assisted their children in creating their Family Story books using the pictures. The parents and children worked together to paste the pictures in the book and to also write captions or list the names of the family members under the pictures. The children and parents then shared their books with the group.
In addition, everyone received a copy of the book Where Are You From. Our hope is that they will share both books with their family and friends. It was such a beautiful experience for all involved.