She’s funny. She’s vivacious. She’s creative and she very well may be the inspiration that some child will remember forever when they struggle to create their very own manuscripts, using imagination and creativity.
Edmonton storyteller Kathy Jessup visited Bluffton School last week and it was easy to see why she is amazingly popular with children and adults.
“I just say ‘yes’,” she said with a smile, when she explains how her 11-year career as a journalist for CBC took a different and very lucrative angle when she became a mother of three girls and moved from Calgary to Edmonton.
Saying yes has taken Jessup all over the world and not only has she performed original stories and world folktales in schools, libraries, concerts and festivals across Canada—- from Inuvik to Regina, and from Vancouver to Toronto to Halifax,she has traveled to such faraway places as Africa, Ireland, Iceland and Scotland.
“I love to travel,” she said, adding she was raised in Fort Nelson and many of her storytelling yarns relate to her family and her growing up years.
Her storytelling career got off to a rather unlikely start when she was a mother helper for her daughters and found that she was asked back by popular demand. Soon she was being asked to perform on a much broader scale and since that time she has never looked back.
She enjoys working with children and bringing their dormant imaginations to life. She said everyone has an imagination, but if children are handed iPods and other electronic devices and only watch movies, they will find the process difficult.
“Imagination is like a muscle that gets out of shape,” she said. “You need to work that muscle.”
Jessup indulges her passion for storytelling through helping children create their own stories and also by working with teachers to give them insight into the creative process.
Her wonderful gift as a storyteller is her own special tool for sparking young minds and letting their imagination wander to great and creative heights.
Jessup’s bio explains her stories and articles have appeared in various publications including the Canadian children’s magazine CHICKADEE, and the Alberta Centennial anthology Under the Wide Blue Sky: Alberta Stories to Read and Tell. She’s also been featured on CDs produced by T.A.L.E.S. (The Alberta League Encouraging Storytelling). In 2010, her solo CD Listen Up! Tellable Tales for Hungry Ears was recommended by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre in their guide “Best Books for Kids and Teens.”
Jessup offers writing workshops for children and is also in demand as a presenter at teachers’ conventions and professional development days, for educational and literacy organizations.