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Storytelling Power Book


Storytelling Power Book


by Annabelle Nelson (The WHEEL Council, Inc., 1997)


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Originally developed as a youth empowerment program for middle school students, this dynamic and multicultural substance abuse prevention book focuses on personal responsibility and realizing the power you have to “create your life.”  The activities help build protective factors such as a healthy self-concept, problem-solving skills and hope for the future.  There are six sections emphasizing different types of power available to teens:

    • Knowledge Power: includes information about alcohol, drugs, and their effects
    • Skill Power: teaches techniques to help students refuse drugs when offered
    • Personal Power: uses stories to highlight attitudes helpful for becoming healthy and successful
    • Character Power: uses stories to highlight character traits helpful for becoming healthy and successful
    • Culture Power: examines cultural constructs, subcultures, and cultural symbols
    • Future Power: addresses plans for the future and the power of role models


The content is very creative and keeps youth engaged.  Some of the folktales include spiritual elements that are not mainstream (shamanism, spirit helpers, and demons) and possibly not appropriate in a traditional faith setting.  A Storytelling Power Book Facilitator’s Guide is also available for purchase.


Why does FASTEN recommend this resource?


The Storytelling Power Book’s focus on visual art is different than most prevention resource and therefore provides interesting supplementary materials and activities for any middle school prevention program.  Art work and group sharing is very important to each section and there are suggestions for integrating the young peoples’ own culture with community storytellers, dance groups, cooking, and crafts.

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