Grandview Early Learning Center holds first storytelling night

Grandview Early Learning Center holds first storytelling night

By Hailey Palmer, Puyallup Tribal News

The Puyallup Tribal community gathered on Jan. 31 at Grandview Early Learning Center for the center’s very first storytelling event.

The event opened with singing, drumming and a prayer with help from the Language Department before Grandview staff shared the Lushootseed Traditional Narrative – sq’əbiyuʔ “skunk” as told by Snoqualmie Elder Earnest šidut Barr.

The story was told in both Lushootseed and English, with children and staff acting it out for the audience.

Two Grandview staff members dressed up as skunks and worked their way through the audience. They sprayed some audience members with Silly String to simulate Skunk’s trademark weapon, which summoned waves of laughter from onlookers of all ages.

Grandview Language Teacher Cynthia LaPlante thought the inaugural event went perfect.

“All the stress and all the hard work came together, and I feel like it even brought our center closer together as a whole,” she said. “At times when we were struggling, I feel like story time brought us all together.”

Planning and putting on Grandview’s first storytelling night took a few months because of the holiday season, but seeing the crowd that came out to support it made it all worthwhile, LaPlante said.

“I think it just shows that language will bring the community together, especially at the heart of where all of our future generations are learning (Grandview),” she said. “This is where it all starts.”

Necklaces and other items were given away at the end to thank those who had a part in putting the storytelling night on and those who showed up to support.

LaPlante said there will definitely be more storytelling nights at Grandview in the future.

The overall message of the night, LaPlante said, was that Lushootseed brings everyone together, especially the children and older generations.

“What’s so impactful is that we get to keep teaching them the traditions and keep our traditions alive,” LaPlante said.

Grandview Early Learning Center will be hosting another storytelling night in the spring, and the community is welcome to attend.