Performer and illustrator J.D. Williamson contributed to an educational DVD designed to promote reading, writing and storytelling to southeastern Ohio school children.
The DVD is a collection of songs, stories and drawings about seven famous people with ties to Ohio: Johnny Appleseed, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Jessie Owens, Mike Fink, Neil Armstrong, Annie Oakley and Richland County storyteller Cy Gatton.
“Read It, Write It, Tell It,” a multimedia project focusing on grades three through seven, is a collaborative production of the WOUB Center for Public Media, Educational Technology for Southeastern Ohio (eTSEO) and the State of Ohio technology agency. The ETSEO teacher resource guide for this series will provide a wealth of literary text resources for genre, plot, mood and setting, theme, point of view, figurative language, character development and — of course — storytelling.
“WOUB Center for Public Media and eTSEO are partners in providing educational technology resources and services to K-12 schools in an 18-county region of southeastern Ohio,” Fred Harner, executive director of eTSEO.
Harner contacted Williamson after seeing him perform at a show in Athens.
“He said, ‘I need a storyteller for this program we are doing,’” Williamson said. “He found me on the Web performing at one of the local schools. He came to see my show about stranger safety at the Athens Kids Fest.”
“There were long lines of kids and adults at his table who were waiting for caricatures and story pictures,” Harner said. “Later, when he did a performance in front of a large group of children on the Convo stage, I knew he would be perfect as our talent for this production. J.D. has the right combination of artistic, storytelling and musical abilities. Plus, he has the ability to entertain while teaching. He was perfect for our storyteller requirements.”
Williamson has been performing for school-age children for several years incorporating, storytelling, songs and art — at the same time — into his shows.
“Kids like larger-than-life characters, tall tales and participation,” he said.
Harner said multiple copies of the “Read It, Write It, Tell It” DVD have been distributed free to all schools with grades three through seven WOUB/eTSEO service region, which includes Athens, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Washington counties.
Harner said since the series was released in February, the Web site, http://woub.org/readwritetell, has logged more than 500 hits.
“Read It, Write It, Tell It” is available free to educators and parents. Requests for the DVD should be sent by e-mail to email@example.com, or by telephone to the eTSEO office in Athens.
Special to The Times
Williamstown artist J.D. Williamson shows the DVD he designed with his own original artwork that is being used in Ohio schools.