CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) and the International African American Museum (IAAM) are working together to connect the Charleston community with the stories and culture of the Gullah Geechee people. Thanks to this partnership, Gullah storytellers are bringing their tales to CCPL’s Dial-a-Story service, providing free on-demand access to the recorded stories at the touch of a button.
“Storytelling is a beloved and essential tool in preserving history and culture,” says Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO of the International African American Museum. “We are delighted to partner with (CCPL) to make the wit, wisdom, and wonder of these African American and Gullah tales accessible through a simple phone call. And I am especially grateful to all the storytellers who keep telling our stories!”
Dial-A-Story offers free access to recorded readings of short stories, poems, or excerpts of a favorite book. Patrons simply call 843-805-6806 and follow the prompts to choose the story they would like to hear. A selection of Spanish-language stories is also available. New stories are posted regularly, and there will be two new Gullah stories available each month.
“CCPL is so excited to be expanding our Dial-A-Story program with the help of the IAAM,” says Kathleen Montgomery, CCPL Outreach Manager. “We know that listening to stories is beneficial for people of all ages, but it is especially helpful in the development of children and getting them ready to learn to read. These stories offer a fun and easy way for people to fit a story into their busy schedules.”
To access Dial-a-story, call 843-805-6806. Stories are free and available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. For more information on CCPL, visit ccpl.org. For details on the IAAM, visit iaamuseum.org.
Photo: Carolyn White reads Scripture from the Gullah Bible with assistance from the Rev. DeMett Jenkins (left) during the Groundbreaking Worship Service for the new International African American Museum held at Emanuel AME Church on Oct. 24, 2019, in Charleston. White will serve as one of the Gullah storytellers for Charleston County Public Library’s Dial-a-Story program. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Post and Courier Staff