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I had the honor of interviewing celebrated author Antonio Sacre on the power of storytelling in education. Check out the podcast below.

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About Anotonio Sacre

Born in Boston to a Cuban father and Irish-American mother, Sacre is an internationally touring storyteller, author, and solo performance artist, based in Los Angeles. He has performed at the National Book Festival at the Library of Congress, the Kennedy Center, the National Storytelling Festival, as well as museums, schools, libraries, and festivals. Deemed “a charismatic, empathetic presence” by the Chicago Tribune, his stories have appeared in numerous magazines, journals, and on National Public Radio.

His first picture book, The Barking Mouse, published by Albert Whitman and Company in 2003, was a winner of the 2004 International Reading Association Notable Books for a Global Society. His next two picture books, La Noche Buena, a Christmas Story, and A Mango in the Hand, a Story of Proverbs were both chosen for inclusion in the prestigious California Readers Book Collections for School Libraries in 2011 and 2012.

Kirkus Reviews described the stories in his fourth book, My Name Is Cool: Stories from a Cuban-Irish-American Storyteller, as “over-the-top, as funny as they are touching. These stories convey the importance of bilingualism and biculturalism and should appeal to young readers.” Drawn from Sacre’s personal history growing up bilingual and bicultural as a Cuban-Irish-American, the book weaves the Spanish language, Cuban family, and Irish humor into 18 unforgettable tales full of humor, inspiration, tradition, and family.

is storytelling recordings have won numerous awards, including the American Library Association’s Notable Recipient Award, the Parent’s Choice Gold and Silver Awards, and the National Association of Parenting Publications Gold Award. His most recent, World’s Second-Best Dad, was released in March of 2020 and received both a National Parenting Product Award and a Family Choice Award. Recorded in front of a live audience at BYUtv for BYUradio’s The Apple Seed, the album garnered a delightful review from the NPPA Awards Committee: “Stocked with stories that will amuse both children and parents, World’s Second-Best Dad is a fabulous album that families can enjoy listening to together. And after listening to it, you will want to invite Sacre over and have him tell your family more stories.”

As a solo performer, Sacre has performed in festivals and theaters in New York City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Chicago, where he performed under the tutelage and mentorship of Jenny Magnus. At The New York City International Fringe Theater Festival, Sacre was awarded a Best in Fringe Festival award for Excellence in acting, and a Best in Fringe Festival Award for Excellence in Solo Performance. At the United Solo Theater Festival off-Broadway, he twice won the United Solo Award for Best Storyteller, in 2011 and 2012.
Since 1994, he has led many teacher in-services and district-wide trainings, sharing his knowledge of drama, storytelling, and writing in student workshops nationwide. Committed to nurturing, teaching, and performing for students of all ages, he is currently touring Los Angeles public schools and communities,where Antonio does Storytelling Assemblies, Professional Development Programs, Family Literacy Nights, and Writing Workshops, to help children and educators discover their own stories and embrace their own multicultural backgrounds.

His Professional Developments and Keynote Addresses have helped educators teach writing to students from prekindergarten through graduate school. When he is not touring, he works as storyteller-in-residence at the UCLA Lab School (formerly UES) on the UCLA campus in Westwood, CA. Antonio earned a BA in English from Boston College and an MA in Theater Arts from Northwestern University. He is a former recipient of an Ethnic and Folk Arts Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council.

When he is not touring, he works as storyteller-in-residence at the UCLA Lab School (formerly UES) on the UCLA campus in Westwood, CA. Antonio earned a BA in English from Boston College and an MA in Theater Arts from Northwestern University. He is a former recipient of an Ethnic and Folk Arts Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council.

www.antoniosacre.com

John Spencer

John Spencer

My goal is simple. I want to make something each day. Sometimes I make things. Sometimes I make a difference. On a good day, I get to do both.More about me

4 Comments

  • Wow! Thanks for such an amazing interview!

    Yes, children —and people in general— love stories.

    And the power of storytelling in the classroom can be addressed from different perspectives.

    As you said, it helps to develop empathy. Children learn about their own emotions as well as others’ thanks to stories’ characters.
    Personal —real or invented— stories also help connecting with students, crucial for learning to happen.
    I still remember some lessons from highschool because of a teacher’s story. There is no learning without emotions and as you also pointed out, SEL plays a very important role.
    In an increasing multicultural society, stories about different cultures and ways of life make students more open-minded and respectful towards difference.
    And sure, they contribute to develop speaking and writing skills both in their own and foreign languages.

    I think the benefits of storytelling in education are endless.

    Quite interesting point of view about the issue. I enjoyed the interview a lot. Many thanks!

  • Rum Tan says:

    Stories have a special place and value in education and leave a lifetime impact on kids. In terms of language learning also it plays an important role because students can listen to the sounds and rhythms of English just as native speakers will have done to acquire their first language. Students can identify vocabulary and expressions that they have learnt or heard regularly and see them in use. Frequent telling can help them to learn new phrases and expressions with the correct emotional resonance. Storytelling with participation uses experiential learning to ask about what is happening to the characters and what they should do next, or offers a student the chance to be that character and hear/say their words in a true context. Thanks for sharing such a helpful post.

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