Bellevue Library SNI

Bellevue Public Library staff not only encourage people to read stories, but also learn how to tell them.

Bellevue Public Library and the Omaha Organization for the Purpose of Storytelling are teaming up to help the community improve storytelling and oral presentation skills.

Tuesdays through Oct. 16 from 4 to 5 p.m., there will be an OOPS storytelling program for first through 12th graders at the library, 1003 Lincoln Road.

Through the program, participants will learn about key elements including inflection, prop usage and eye contact in order to tell a compelling story.

“They learn anything that would help them entertain an audience and get their point across,” said Michelle Bullock, head of children’s services.

Bullock said she is excited to see children grow through this program as well as make memories along the way.

“I want them to have fun with it,” she said.

The workshop, which is free and does not require registration, also serves to help children overcome fears of public speaking.

Bullock said one of the workshop’s main objectives is to provide children with an opportunity to feel comfortable expressing themselves in front of others.

“Getting kids to talk out loud, to hear their voice to sit and think about what they are going to say, those are critical behavior aspects that we don’t learn when we’re young,” she said.

After weeks of developing skills, participants will perform a prepared skit in front of peers, friends and families.

Leading up to their performance, participants work to strengthen their skit and gather props they may need, Bullock said.

“We have some really talented kids in this area as far as animation and they way they present,” she said.

While the program is only open to students, Bullock said she encourages the community show support during the final meeting.

“It’s a fun thing to do and it lets the kids know that the efforts they put in matter,” she said.

The library is always striving to help children, Bullock said, and OOPS is another way to do so.

“Anything that’s going to get kids up there presenting and getting comfortable with hearing their voice out loud, that’s what we are aiming for,” she said.

For more information, contact the Bellevue Public Library at 402-293-3157.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.