From the Office for the Future of Reading

This is a first: a guest post by a TV star! And one who loves books and stories; my favorite kind.

Mrs. P

Back to School:
How You Can Nurture Your Child’s Storytelling Skills

A guest post by Mrs. P of
When school starts, one of the most frequently asked questions of children is, “what did you do all summer?”  Elementary school students are often asked to write a story about what they did on their summer vacation.  Parents & teachers, you can play an important roll in finding ways to nurture storytelling skills.

Visit Mrs. P’s Magic Library and get your child’s classroom involved in my 5th anniversary writing contest. A writing contest can help children:
  •  Hone vital writing skills (such as developing clarity of images and ideas)
  •  Improve organizational skills (required to tell a well-structured story)
  •  Give the imagination a serious work-out (using completely different ‘muscles’ than when you listen to or watch a story someone else has created)
  •   Generate self-confidence (when a story you created entertains or influences a reader!)

A contest also helps a child experience deadlines and having parameters, like word counts and topics to write about. And of course, prizes often motivate children too.  But most of all writing can be fun and it is wonderful to see a young writer get recognized for their work, just like an athlete or musician does.
The skill of mastering the written word is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. For evidence of its power, we need only look at Shakespeare’s plays, which still move audiences more than 400 years after they were written; or the Constitution of the United States, which presidents and lawmakers still look to for guidance 200 years after its authors first put pen to paper. What better way to begin developing such an important skill than with “tell me a story…”?
The contest is free to enter and open to all K-4 classrooms in the United States with entries accepted from September 1, 2013 through November 15, 2013.
K-4 classrooms nationwide are invited to write a story about “Magic,” the theme of this year’s contest, containing no less than 250 words and not to exceed 1,000. It may be fiction or non-fiction.  One story per classroom will be accepted and each entry can either be a collaborative story, or classrooms can vote on which child’s story to enter.
My Be-a-Famous Writer Contest has been fortunate to partner with companies that promote reading, writing and overall literacy.  Our sponsors, Tales2Go, myON, PolkaDot Publishing, Buyer Topia, and Powell’s Bookshave generously donated prizes ranging from gift certificates for books all the way up to whole school licenses to access their various solutions.  The details of the contest can be found here

Mrs. P is a character played by actress Kathy Kinney, best known for her role as Mimi, on the Drew Carey Show. endeavors to expose young people to great
books and stories through a celebrity storyteller and to spark their imaginations and creativity with on-line games and writing contests.

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