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‘String Man’ captivates with stories and strings

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Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 11:44 pm

DENALI PARK - If a mesmerized audience is the sign of a good storyteller, Dave Titus is an expert — especially when it doesn’t matter whether that audience is a roomful of kindergarteners or teenagers.

Titus, known as the “String Man,” came to Healy last week with a bag filled with string and stories.

He also spent some time entertaining and sharing his talents with teens at the Holy Mother of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Healy.

The string he uses is made through the help of Goodwill Industries, in Lawton, Okla.

Titus spearheads String Ministries, an interdenominational Christian organization founded to share the love of Christ through string figures. But his storytelling stands on its own, even without a religious message.

Titus is a captivating storyteller.

Everyone gets a piece of string, everyone hears the story and then everyone gets to create the story with string themselves. Some catch on right away, some work harder at it, but eventually everyone can tell a story with string.

He turns one piece of string into a cup and saucer and then a snake.

“My personal favorite was a porcupine climbing a tree,” said Amanda Austin, community librarian.

At an evening community presentation, 64 people piled into the library to enjoy his storytelling. And, she added, students still are playing with the strings, days after Titus departed.

The Tri-Valley Community Library sponsored his visit.

Special celebration

Elementary students at Tri-Valley School planned another delicious annual Thanksgiving feast for Wednesday, with the help of their teachers and parents.

This is the brainstorm of the Elementary Leadership Team, which is made up of one representative from every elementary class.

This year, the always popular Thanksgiving feast returned.

A huge paper turkey hanging in the hallway provided a way for volunteers to sign up to bring food for the feast. But the students themselves choose the menu, which included watermelon this year.

Students create place mats, decorations and recruit volunteers. Parent volunteers cook, set up, clean up and serve the hungry elementary classes. They usually end up serving about 90 people, including staff members.

“High school kids usually end up eating what is left over,” noted grade school teacher Paul Newton.

Pirate show

A band of pirates performed at Tri-Valley School last Friday and it truly was an all elementary student theatrical production.

Motion Sensors Dance Troupe instructor Ilah Reynar taught the pirate show dances during students’ regularly scheduled physical education classes. Five classes and one dress rehearsal later, they were ready for the big show.

“Seven kids had talking parts and they learned a ton of lines after school,” Reynar said. “Middle and high school dancers helped with auditions and also did lighting for the show.

“It truly was a show put on by kids.”

It was also, in large part, sponsored by dancers themselves. In particular, Laird and Cooper Dixon and Victoria Pennington turned their summer lemonade and bake sale stand into a fundraiser for Kids In Motion. The youngsters donated half of their earnings — $300 — to Kids In Motion, which spearheads the dance program.

Why?

“Because I am involved in Kids In Motion and they keep kids healthy and active,” Victoria Pennington said.

“Because Kids In Motion is something I like to be a part of,” Laird Dixon said.

With this kind of grassroots support, these programs are sure to be successful. Thanks to those young and generous dancers.

Cards for heroes

The deadline for making cards for military service members is extended for a few more days, according to the Tri-Valley School student council. Thirty cards have been accepted so far.

Make your card and drop it in one of the community boxes, either at Tri-Valley School or at the Healy post office.

The service program is run by the Red Cross.

Free jazzercise

If you’re worried about eating too much for Thanksgiving dinner, think about doing a preemptive strike on your waistline.

Healy’s Jazzercise instructor Megan Scoles is holding a free “Huff and Puff Before You Stuff” class at 9:15 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.

“It’s a super session so the class will be 10 minutes longer than usual,” she said.

Jazzercise is held at In His Shadow Ministries Church in Healy.

You’ll either eat more or sleep more when you finish this workout.

Kris Capps is a free-lance writer.

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