Ellie Sessions: Storytelling with Puppets
To raise children’s awareness of dementia I hold interactive storytelling Ellie Sessions with groups, in schools and at special events. We read the book together, I introduce and explain the key issues, and then we have a question and answer session. For some children it is their first opportunity to ask about their worries about dementia, which they may have been storing up for some time. Perhaps they have a loved one in their family with dementia, or they may have overheard adult conversation but could not fully understand. Children ask the most amazing questions! I include a selection of their questions on my website, which is updated regularly.
I invite the staff and parents to attend my Ellie Sessions with the children. The story of The Forgetful Elephant also helps the adults to understand about dementia, and how to broach the subject with young children. I give supportive tips for discussing the subject, and also practical ideas for maintaining a relationship with the person who has dementia.
At the Ellie Sessions I set up a fun display to introduce the characters and elements from the story. I tell the story interactively with the children, using the puppets, plush elephants and story boards. The sessions are fun for all, and profoundly educational on many levels for children and adults. They always generate plenty of food for thought, and many subjects to discuss. I provide suggestions and support for follow-up discussions with the children, and refer them to my website, social media community and my free Elliegrams Newsletter for more information.
I have published a booklet of guidelines for teenagers to hold Ellie Sessions with younger children, for example through the Girl Guides and Brownies, and High Schools working with Primary school children.
Ellie Sessions For Adults
I also give talks and workshops to groups of adults about the importance of raising children’s awareness of dementia, as after-dinner or featured talks at special events.
Booking Ellie Sessions
Please contact me to arrange an Ellie Session or a special event.
Feedback about Ellie Sessions
I am deeply grateful to all those who kindly send feedback about how Ellie Sessions have been helpful. See some extracts from the hundreds of letters I have received on the Appreciation page. I always welcome comments, and like to share tips and new questions which are raised.
Rates for Ellie Sessions
For schools and children’s groups: £150 for an hour-long session (+ travel, and accommodation if necessary)
For talks and workshops for adult groups:from £250 (+ travel, and accommodation if necessary)
Ellie Sleepover Packs
Children love sleepovers! After an Ellie Session, to further engage the children in the content of The Forgetful Elephant story I offer an Ellie Sleepover Pack. The Pack is supplied with an Adoption Certificate, an adorable cuddly Ellie soft toy, a pet carrier, a laminated copy of The Forgetful Elephant book, a booklet of Guidelines for telling the story, and a notebook for the child to record where Ellie went, and who she met. See further details here.
I am passionate about raising children’s awareness of dementia, and welcome any further suggestions you may have to help me promote my work.