OLM School Students Concludes Reading Week with Storyteller Len Cabral

On Friday, April 15, students and faculty at Our Lady of Mercy School were treated to a lively performance by renowned storyteller Len Cabral. He performed two sessions, first for grades Pre-K through 4, then Grades 5 through 8 enjoyed their own session later in the morning. Cabral’s captivating delivery was engaging and kept the children’s attention throughout the performance. According to his website, www.lencabral.com, “Len Cabral is an internationally acclaimed storyteller who has been enchanting audiences with his storytelling performances at schools, libraries, museums and festivals since 1976. A great-grandson of a Cape Verdean whaler whose grandparents immigrated to America from the islands off the coast of West Africa, Len’s strong Cape Verdean ancestry comes alive in his exuberant retelling of African, Cape Verdean, and Caribbean folktales as well as original stories and tales from around the world. Len is a popular storyteller at theaters, schools and festivals throughout the United States and has performed at festivals in Ireland, Belgium, Austria, Holland and Canada. He is the recipient of the National Storytelling Network 2001 Circle of Excellence Oracle Award.”

His stories ranged from the fantastic to the mysterious, each with a strong message that the children will likely remember for many years to come. His story of “Mezi Gallo and Friends” in the first session appeared to be a crowd favorite. He took questions from the students at the end of each session and warmly responded to everyone. OLM School Librarian Christie Cambio arranged for Cabral’s visit as the culmination of the school’s celebration of Reading Week.

All week long, parents streamed in and out of the school as guest readers in their children’s classrooms. Students were also encouraged to keep a reading log by filling out and decorating butterflies that were being used to decorate a bulletin board. The National Library Week theme was “Libraries Transform.” According to Mrs. Cambio, “The butterfly was used as a symbol of transformation that even our youngest students could understand.” In addition, a bookmark-making contest was held, with the winner to be announced after the students return from April break.

Also in recognition of Reading Week, Ms. Peretta’s 5th graders performed a Readers’ Theatre of “Wings for the King” for the PreK-2nd graders. It was a perfectly themed story for the occasion. It’s the tale of an adventure-seeking king who summoned his people to create him a set of wings which would enable him to fly to different lands. After several failed attempts, one of his people arrives at the castle with a stack of books. The king learns that he does not need wings to find adventure. He can travel through time and to different lands simply by reading books!

With a tradition of excellence in Catholic elementary and middle school education since 1951, Our Lady of Mercy School offers its students an opportunity to pursue excellence in academics, athletics and the arts on their journey as young saints and scholars. Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the Pre-K through Grade 8, co-educational Catholic school located in East Greenwich provides a nurturing, values-driven environment built upon the teachings of the Catholic Church.