Larry Johnson has dedicated his storytelling career to improving the lives of the children around him. Larry spent years trying to convince the state board of education that storytelling and a storyteller belonged in every school in his state.
I started telling “goofy” stories around the campfire in the 60s for campers in trouble thru court services, while I went thru the Broadcast program at the University of Minnesota. When I returned from being an army medic, I began to encounter young adults who looked at me and said, “Aren’t you the guy who told those stories at the camp? Do you remember . . .” These young people, who had extreme trouble in school, then told me stories I didn’t remember because I’d made them up in the moment. I thought, “What if one went into education, and deliberately used quality stories to help children learn?”, and I did for almost 25 years.
Now I am frequently running into young adults who credit the opportunity to work on storytelling in a comfortable setting in school with giving them the courage and ability to stand in front of groups and talk, with story, as activists, as trainers, or as small business leaders. This skill of communicating and connecting (which story does) orally is highlighted in virtually all the current leadership training books and materials. I feel I made it happen somewhat unconsciously during many of my years in education, but I’m also aware how much more powerful this is when we become conscious about it.
This event will be about why and how to help school children love storytelling and let it impact and strengthen their inherent leadership in family, work, and community.
More about Larry Johnson
There are 100 Larry Johnsons in the Minneapolis, Minnesota phone book, but this one grew up in Bloomington far enough back so he worked on a farm where the Mall of America is now. He is a storyteller, educator, and business owner who has managed outdoor education programs, directed CCTV and community cable operations, and produced numerous radio and TV shows, mainly around issues and local storytellers. He started the “teller-friendly” patient TV channel at Mpls. Children’s Hospital in the mid 70s and then taught storytelling and video in the Mpls schools for over 20 years.
With Elaine Wynne, working as Key of See Storytellers, he won grand prize in the 1986 Tokyo Video Festival for helping children on two sides of the Atlantic tell and listen to their deepest stories via video letter exchange. For 25 years, Elaine (a storyteller/psychologist) and Larry have taught people around the U.S., as well as in Scandinavia, Europe, and South America, to find their own stories and use them in their work. They currently teach a class titled Storytelling for Parents, Grandparents, and other activists, Trainers, And Leaders. They have 13 grandchildren and get them together each year for storytelling and story-living at Cousin Camp.
The Grammar of Fantasy by Gianni Rodari, translated by Jack Zipes
Creating Context and Linking Thru Diversity, edited by Walter Enloe, Zephyr Press (unwarrantedly out of print)
The Story Vine by Anne Pellowski, Collier Press
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Harvey Mackey (esp. #5, Principles of Empathic Communication)
Lincoln on Leadership by Donald Phillips
Martin Luther King, Jr. On Leadership by Donald Phillips
Speaking Out by Jack Zipes, Routledge Press
The Call of Stories by Robert Coles
Endangered Minds by Jane Healy, Simon and Schuster
Tales as Tools, by National Storytelling Press, esp. “Encouraging Children’s Personal Stories” by Elaine Wynne
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John Maxwell
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Business School for People Who Like Helping People by Robert Kiyosaki
Anything by Stephen Denning
To Learn even more about Larry Johnson go to his website at: http://www.keyofsee.mn/