On 21st August, Saturday, Club1BR brought together a bunch of bubbly, energetic children from Care International School and Excel Global School for Happily Ever After, the grand finale of our first, one-of-a-kind storytelling festival, The Long Long Ago Fest.

The event was open to children from Grade 3, Grade 4 and Grade 5. First, all the participants attended a storytelling workshop conducted by Club1BR’s star storyteller Keerthana. After this, they were asked to pick any story from the Freadom app and record themselves narrating those stories. What we received were numerous engaging, hooking storytellings full of hand gestures, voice modulations and top-class acting! We marvelled at what the children could do and how much they improvised. As our colleague commented, these kids could even pose a competition for Keerthana!

The only thing left to do was to choose the winners. This was no easy task since all the children put forward an incredible performance. But in the end, we managed to pick three amazing storytellers from each of the grades. The winners were announced by our chief guest, Club1BR’s very own Amrutash Misra, during the grand finale. He talked at length about the impact storytelling can have on kids, and recollected an instance when a child fainted during one of the times he narrated a horror story!

Watch the finale of the Long Long Ago Fest here.

Afterwards, the three first prize winners graced us with a live storytelling performance. Nhilaashni from Care International School went first. She left us spellbound with her voice modulations, mimicry and acting. You can watch her performance here from 23:40. The second performance was by an adorable third-grader named Jovish from Excel Global School. Skip to 29:50 on the video to watch his engaging storytelling. Grade 5 student Vedha Ram from the same school put forth the last performance. Go to 31:55 to watch the confident, charming way in which she narrates the story of a little girl.

We wrapped up our Long Long Ago fest with a few words from the teachers who were present. They were just as impressed as we were by the children's performance and were amazed at what storytelling could do for their children. Skip to 39:45 to listen to them. All of us logged off after a word of thanks and we at Club1BR were left wishing that it wouldn’t be a long, long time until the next Long Long Ago fest came along!