"I'm still just bowled over by my visit. I was taken back by how open the girls were during the process, much more than I thought they'd be, at least at this stage. Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this." This was the reaction of Jesse Berdinka, accomplished storyteller, after working with students at Serviam Girls Academy for the first time. 

Mr. Berdinka, the most recent winner of the Moth Story Jam in Philadelphia, will be meeting monthly with 7th and 8th grade ELA classes to teach the Art of Storytelling, a technique which shows young women how to express their own personal narratives with an emhasis on careers and life. Story is the easiest way to express yourself; to open up creativity to a broad group of kids who may feel that they lack the resources or talent to do anything else. Our stories are going to be true, an event that happened to us or that we witnessed," said Berdinka.

Eighth grade student, Diamond Wilson, was fascinated to meet Mr. Berdinka and hear his success story. In addition, she learned that "every story has an emotional core and wants yo to feel that emotion." ELA teacher, Blair Borish, added, "Current educational research shows an importance in strengthening not only students' literacy (ability to read & write), but also their oracy (ability to epress themselves out loud). This storytelling partnership with Jesse Berdinka allows our students to work on those skills in a way that connects them with their peers and in a way they find truly engaging. 

Focusing on the elements of a "good" story, including subject matter, core emotion, and audience, Serviam will hold a culminating storytelling event in the Spring in which students will present their stories to the community.