Life through the lens of a Storyteller Preschooler
Photography Show at Paseo Nuevo: June 5th – July 6th
Storyteller Children’s Center will showcase the photography of its Head Start Children, ages 3 – 5 years old, in the old Macy’s windows in the Paseo Nuevo in downtown Santa Barbara. The show is the result of a curriculum created by teachers to instruct the children about memory, time, and reflection. The exhibition will hang for a month and offers the local community a glimpse into Storyteller Children’s Center’s approach to encouraging healthy life skills.
Each child was given a disposable camera and taught how to use a viewfinder, a wind advance, and flash. Then, the cameras were sent home for the children to record their daily lives; a learning activity meant to encourage the development of patience, observation, creativity, and inventiveness. All photos presented have been taken by the children from their perspective.
“There was so much joy among the children in learning a new method of taking pictures and taking the cameras home was a wonderful opportunity for them to have self-directed expression without adult intervention,” noted Teacher, Genezaret Cardoso. As opposed to the digital photography of today, the photos also offer the unique beauty of an unedited moment in time.
Founded in 1988, Storyteller is a full-time, therapeutic school program that supports children ages 18 months to 5 years in achieving kindergarten readiness. In addition to the approximate 80 students served per year, Storyteller also provides assistance to the entire family unit, with an emphasis on breaking the cycle of poverty for the working poor while preparing children to successfully enter kindergarten. Some of Storyteller’s programs are supported by Head Start of the United States Department of Health and Human Services which provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and families.
Director of Development: Adrienne De Guevara,
Storyteller is a therapeutic preschool that serves children and their families toward “Kindergarten Readiness.”
Storyteller serves Santa Barbara’s poorest families, those living below or close to the poverty guideline and who also meet the Federal definition of homeless. This segment of our community may have difficulty accessing and paying for quality preschool.
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The Key Component is Love
We can’t change the world, but we can impact our little corner. Our teachers, our leadership team, and our Board are positively impacting children and their families’ lives every day.
A Lasting Impact on Children and Families
If the last year has shown us anything, it is that we need to lean on each other for support and strength when challenges arise. At Storyteller, teachers and staff have seen first-hand the increased levels of stress and trauma their families are experiencing as a result of the pandemic. From grieving the loss of loved ones to trying to obtain stable housing or employment, the families of Storyteller have experienced more than many of us could imagine. In response to this growing need for support and resources, Storyteller recently introduced a Family Advocacy Program to focus directly on the needs of the parents and guardians. The program provides early intervention for families before challenges become too complex or debilitating to overcome. With the support of community donors, this pilot program will become a permanent part of Storyteller’s service offering and have a lasting impact for years to come.
Jennifer Gillon Duffy
Daisy Estrada Ochoa