London, England

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Story Museum in Oxford

The Oxford outing was a day chock full of libraries, books, education, and stories.  Our last tour of the day was at the Story Museum.  Stop for a moment and think of your favorite childhood stories.  What are they?  Mine include the Paddington Bear books, Babar the Elephant, and the Frog and Toad series.  As a parent, my younger children and I get great joy out of sharing The Pout Pout Fish, Click Clack Moo, and the Daisy duck books, while my older girls will spend hours talking about the Percy Jackson books, the My Sister is a Vampire series, and books like, The Gollywhopper Games.

I was amazed at the plans that the Story Museum has and the combination of creative design and educational purpose.  Children will go there and be inspired.  They will be excited to read.  They will dive into books, or as younger children might say, they will skidoo into books.

The Story Museum is the brain-child of a group educators, librarians, and authors who believe that children need to experience stories and the art of storytelling.  They also know that children learn best what they experience and the Story Museum seeks to give them those experiences.  Oxford’s history is rich with writers and storytellers, such as Lewis Carroll and J.R.R. Tolkien, and those works hold a special place in the heart of the Story Museum.

Currently, the Story Museum is conducting trainings for teachers and students, offering community activities, and doing classroom push-ins.  Their programs have met with great success in the school districts that they are working in; and by success, I don’t mean simply that the children enjoy it.  The board member who spoke to our group today stated that the children involved in their programs are seeing measurable improvements in their reading.

The plan is to open the doors at the facility I visited today in 2014.  They plan to have a theater for storytelling and puppet shows, a tower, a café, exploration areas, training rooms, areas for “writers in residence,” and a variety of programs that will be accessible to school groups and individuals alike. 

This loch ness monster looks out from an upper window.  Its arrival captured the attention of many children as it was carried through the streets of Oxford.

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1 comment:

  1. What an amazing museum!

    (And thanks for the mention of The Pout-Pout Fish -- I'm glad your children enjoy it!)

    Best Fishes,
    Debbie Diesen (author of The Pout-Pout Fish)