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STORYTIME: Reawakening the art of connection

STORYTIME: Reawakening the art of connection

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February 1, 2015 (FPRC) -- How many times have you lived and worked alongside someone else yet never got to know them beyond the routine "hello"? How many times have you wanted to share yourself with another but felt scared to open up or felt that no one would want to hear your story? The answers to these questions for Jerome Chelliah and Sunnay Lai were "far too many times."

This propelled Jerome Chelliah and Sunny Lai to create Storytime at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Storytime is a pop-up event that takes place in people's living rooms where friends and friends-to-be gather to share personal stories. Usually composed of approx 5-12 people, Storytime provides a dedicated space and time for people to be vulnerable and human alongside each other. Each Storytime event has a select theme announced ahead of time allowing participants to come prepared with a story in mind. Every participant in the group is encouraged to share his or her story in an informal and conversational manner.

"These monthly Storytime groups not only allow us to expand our mental horizons but also remind us of that essential human spirit residing within us all" said Chelliah. The group, which started in the Summer of 2014, has grown rapidly to now include the Schools of Medicine and Nursing. Those interested in starting their own Storytime group on their campus or workplace can visit www.storytimers.org The website provides templates and resources to aid in starting and sustaining your own Storytime group.

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