Winchester celebrates World Storytelling Day

Published 4:28 pm Monday, March 22, 2021

Near the old Carnegie library at College Park, Lainee Mitchell and Olivia Puckett were giving away surprise grab packages of children’s books. A few yards away, Mayor Ed Burtner held a family’s attention with the frightful and fun tale of Tailypo. And not far from him, Miss Anne Hall, the children’s librarian at Shearer Elementary, was reading pop-up books to another family.

It was all part of Winchester’s celebration of World Storytelling Day, March 20, an annual international event to share stories of many cultures and languages.

At the same time several volunteers were reading stories or doing other activities at College Park, author Gwynne Henderson of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey was reading from her children’s book about the Shawnees at Trapp, “Kentuckians Before Boone,” at Legacy Grove, and at Heritage Park Joyce Morton of Winchester’s Black History and Heritage Committee, was sharing stories about what was once at thriving Black business district on West Washington.

Email newsletter signup

“It’s just a wonderful opportunity to hear our story, especially now, in this time of the disconnect within our community, to know that we have a shared history,” she said.

“These are volunteers from around the community who have come together to tell stories in different ways,” said Shawna Mitchell, through puppetry or pop-up books or music.

The free books were from the International Book Project and were left over from last year’s Readifest at College Park, she said.

The event was a way of kicking off a permanent book walk at College Park that was organized by Clark County Cooperative Extension Office and Clark County Public Library Youth Services. There were one-day book walks at the other parks.

Other organizations involved in putting on the Saturday afternoon children’s festival included Winchester Design Studio, Parks and Recreation and Legacy Grove.

Cooperative Extension Agent Shonda Johnston said that about 30 people signed up to be storytellers.

“It’s a fun time,” she said.

She said she wants to make World Storytelling Day an annual event in Clark County.

“I hope this is the beginning of something,” said Erin Sliney of Winchester Inspired by Nature, who was handing out wildflower seed pods for kids to plant.

The theme of this year’s World Storytelling Day was New Beginnings.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at

email author More by Randy