Time brings children’s lit to the masses
everyone taking in Maurice Poe’s education class is
actually a student. Some aren’t even grown-ups.
State teacher education professor teaches Literature for Children
to aspiring teachers both in the classroom and as a televised
broadcast throughout the Sacramento Region. But the course’s
opening act, “Story Time” featuring award-winning
storyteller and performer Francie Dillon, has become must-see
viewing for Sacramento-area children and their parents.
literature course and television show airs Mondays at 7 p.m.
during the fall and spring semesters on Community Access channel
15. Story Time features the songs and stories of a children’s
program—minus any purple dinosaurs—along with
relevant material for future teachers.
State has offered Literature for Children for more than 45
years, and it has always been a popular with students, Poe
says. The course got a fresh look a few years ago when Poe
invited Dillon to come to a class to demonstrate story-telling
not only to his students in the classroom, but to the students
taking the course from home as a distance education course.
included a demonstration on the guitar on adapting and telling
stories through music—was a hit. Dillon continued to
be part of the class and even took over for Poe during an
the way, Poe and Dillon recognized that because the class
is televised, they were also reaching non-student parents
and their children. For Story Time, they choose stories that
are appropriate for reading in the home as well as the classroom.
After, Poe continues with that night’s lesson.
major goal of Story Time is to model for parents the art of
storytelling and story reading and emphasize the role parents
play in promoting language and literacy development in the
home,” Poe says.
several parents have e-mailed him to say they had discovered
Story Time while “surfing channels” and that they
now gather their children around the television to listen
to a story.
a frequent guest at festivals and at Fairytale Town, also
hears from parents who have become weekly viewers. The popular
performer is the recipient of a National Parents’ Choice
Approval Award and a Best Newcomer Award for her CD “The