By NATALIE SCOTT
As a part of Right to Read Week at West Boulevard Elementary School, storyteller Michelle Cornell performed stories from around the world for students Feb. 4.
Cornell performed a sampler of folk tales from many different cultures for the third- and fourth-grade classes, but she focused on Asia New Year stories for students in kindergarten through second-grade.
Cornell began the assembly by teaching students the “Dragon Song,” a traditional Asian song performed during the new year’s celebration. She then told the students a story from Vietnam about the new year. The story, called “The Tale of the Two Brothers,” explains how many of the new year’s traditions in Vietnam came to be, including the act of giving gifts of rice to family and friends.
Cornell also told a story that originated in Korea about the importance of sharing food and gifts in the new year. The story was about an old man and woman who were having very bad luck. When the pond they rely on for food runs out of fish, the old man blames a large green frog, but the frog tells the old man that if he will take him home and share his new year’s feast with him, the couple’s luck will change.
The old man believes that the frog is an Earth spirit so he agrees and the next day he finds his home filled with food and gold coins.
Cornell also performed stories at Stadium Drive, Market Street and Robinwood Lane Elementary schools in honor of Right to Read Week.