The VSB recently partnered with storytelling not-for-profit Rain City Chronicles and the culinary design team of Ken Tsui and Winner Winner to create Tales from Public School: The Elementary and The High School Years.
The auditoriums and cafeterias at Strathcona Elementary and Templeton Secondary, two of the oldest schools in the district, hosted over 600 people. The two-night event offered guests the chance to remember their own elementary and secondary public school experiences and share in a wonderful event, filled with stories, song and delicious cuisine.
"The Tales from Public School series was a highlight of Rain City Chronicles four year run celebrating stories from Vancouverites," says Karp, Producer and Host of Rain City Chronicles. "It was a thrill to see guests connecting over dinner served by The Cafeteria on long tables, and sharing their own tales of public school inspired by Strathcona Elementary and Templeton Secondary's beautiful campuses."
Ken Tsui and the Winner Winner team, Stanley Yung and Chen-Wei Lee, created "The Cafeteria" a pop-up catering company serving a dynamic and delicious take on traditional cafeteria cuisine. Karp and the Rain City Chronicles team produced a safe and welcoming platform for storytellers on which to share their tales.
"It was a tremendous opportunity for us to invite the public into our schools and to share in a truly organic and community focused experience," says Jen Hill, Community Engagement Coordinator at the VSB. "There's something very charming and intimate about telling personal stories to a group of strangers. Couple that with the visceral quality of these lovely old schools and the fantastic food-it made for two magical nights."
Ten percent of ticket sales were generously donated back to the host schools and will be used to support programs for each school's most vulnerable learners.
"The back-to-back storytelling evenings, which highlighted the elementary and secondary years, were truly enjoyable. I found that the stories, being told by real people at a later stage in their lives, really opened my eyes to a better understanding of students' very different perspectives when they attend school," says Allan Wong, VSB Trustee. "I think K-12 students would really relate to the stories and would really benefit from hearing personal stories of feeling proud, embarrassed, blessed or harassed. They were two great evenings."
"We hope these two nights of story and song are among many collaborations with the VSB and their community of educators, students and community members," says Karp.
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