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African American story time at Royal Oaks

It was story time at Royal Oaks Elementary recently for both parents and students when an African American storyteller came to the school.

Nothando Zulu visited Royal Oaks Feb. 9 and 11 in connection with Black History Month and "National African American Parent Involvement Day."

"This is an opportunity for students to learn more about their own culture, more about someone else's culture, more about understanding that we have differences and we celebrate those differences, and that we have similarities and we celebrate those similarities," Royal Oaks principal Theresa Blume said.

"It's an opportunity for students to look outside of their own world for a change."

Not only did Royal Oaks want to celebrate black history and expose students and their families to it, but they wanted to encourage parent involvement with the school.

Whereas students heard a variety of stories with underlying messages of helping others and listening to adults, the parents heard from Zulu about staying involved with their children and the school.

"We can learn from parents and that's what this day is really about, welcoming parents into the building and forming that connection and building that relationship," Blume said.

Parents were also treated to the storytelling abilities of their children when they read essays they had written that mimic Dr. Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream," speech.

"We really felt like that would be a great opportunity to not only focus on the African American culture and celebrate that, but also to really celebrate and encourage our parent involvement," Blume said.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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