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A Vocal Supporter : Telling a Story Beats Reading a Book, Educator Says

February 20, 1991|M.S. MASON | THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

"Norma Livo is truly the grande dame of storytelling in the Rocky Mountain region," says Jimmy Neil Smith, executive director of the National Assn. for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling.

"We're very excited to have elected her to the board of directors of NAPPS because she will bring such a wealth of understanding to the work. Her writings about storytelling in education are among the most important and the most used in colleges and universities around the country." (Livo, with Sandra A. Reitz, wrote "Storytelling: Process and Practice," published in 1986 by Libraries Unlimited Inc. of Englewood, Colo.) "She is truly a pioneer in the storytelling revival that is going on right now," he adds.

The revival of which Smith speaks amounts to a renaissance, he and Livo agree.

NAPPS numbers more than 4,000 members and draws thousands more to its National Storytelling Institute each year.

"It's an art form that is very old and is being rediscovered," Smith says. "In 1973, when NAPPS began, there were only a dozen people who called themselves storytellers.

"Now there are between 300 and 400 who are professional, full-time storytellers, and many thousands more who actively use storytelling in their professions in the classroom, the pulpit, the library and the boardroom."

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