Storytelling at Mission House

As part of Earth Month, the
National Trust for the Cayman Islands will host an environmental storytelling
week from 19 to 21 April.

The event, which will take place at
the Mission House in Bodden Town, is open to primary school children and will
feature stories from Fish Tea – A Collection of Caymanian Tales.

According to Erica Daniel,
education programmes coordinator at the National Trust, the Trust hopes to
build awareness among the youth of the importance of the environment.

 “Earth Day will be celebrated in Cayman and
around the world on 22 April 2010. This year we have decided to host an environmental
storytelling read-aloud,” she said.

“We hope to change students’
attitudes toward the environment through this event.”

These engaging storytelling sessions
will provide teachers with the opportunity to introduce students to new genres
of literature, while modelling desired reading and thinking strategies that
foster critical thinking. While science-related books motivate students,
science related literature, especially science fiction, is often an untapped
resource for read aloud book selections and this exercise is also designed to
complement the curriculum and should provide content to support and inspire
hands-on investigations for many year groups.

The location for the storytelling
week brings together the environmental and historic aspects of the National
Trust in the month of April, which hosts Earth Day and World Heritage Day. The
history of the Mission House can be traced backed to the mid 1800’s and this
historic site transports visitors to an earlier time in Cayman’s history by
recreating the living conditions of the last three families known to have owned
the home. The house sits on its original ironwood posts in a unique setting on
the edge of a wetland. Upon surveying the grounds one will quickly notice that
the front of the yard is reserved for flowering and shade trees and in the
backyard tower traditional fruit trees such as guniep, tamarind and Indian almond.

Prior to its destruction by Hurricane
Ivan in 2004, the Mission House was one of Cayman’s oldest known dwellings. A
respectable replica of the house was built and re-opened to the public in 2007.
The original house was made from wattle and daub with a separate kitchen or ‘cook-room’
along the side of the house. Separate buildings reduced the risk of the main
house being destroyed should a fire break out in the kitchen.

A board walk, which surrounds the
house, leads to a freshwater pond at the rear of the building. In the past,
this pond was a reliable source of drinking water for the inhabitants of the
area and also attracts many local species of birds such as the common moorhen
and the West Indian whistling duck.

For more information on the environmental
storytelling week please contact Erica Daniel at 749-1126 or e-mail [email protected]

For more information on the Mission
House, to arrange a private tour or to hold you event at the Mission House
please call 749-1132 or e-mail [email protected] The Mission House
is open Tuesday to Thursday and Saturday from 9am to 5:30pm with the last tour starting
at 4:30pm.