When the pandemic nixed the in-person component of their 4-H Rural Storytelling Project internship, Madison Albano ‘22, Wendy Ying Lau ’22 and Seth Bollinger ’22 put together a virtual program for kids across three New York state counties, culminating with a virtual showcase of youth storytelling talent.
In a recent episode of the “Extension Out Loud” podcast, the interns – joined by their Cornell Cooperative Extension advisers and a few 4-H participants – talked about the experience, lessons learned and memories made. Albano and Lau are from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Bollinger is from the College of Arts and Sciences.
In collaboration with 4-H program leaders from CCE Dutchess and CCE Columbia-Green Counties, the Rural Storytelling Project, was offered in partnership with Cornell’s Office for Engagement Initiatives (OEI) and was designed to engage 4-H youth in multimedia, written and oral storytelling workshops, facilitated by the Cornell student interns.
The Rural Storytelling Project was the brainchild of Melanie Forstrom, a 4-H program issue leader at CCE Ulster County.
“Storytelling is a way to get out of these monoliths of what it is to live in a rural community, what it is to live in an urban community, what it is live in a suburban community,” Forstrom said.
– Melissa Jo Hill