Shoals storytelling festival starts with virtual tour of Helen K - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Shoals storytelling festival starts with virtual tour of Helen Keller's birthplace

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)

The Front Porch Storytelling Festival kicked off in the Shoals.

Nationally known tellers spoke to schools, libraries, businesses and churches Thursday. They combined the past with the present at Helen Keller’s birthplace in Tuscumbia.

For the first time at Ivy Green, hearing impaired and deaf students from across the country in South Carolina got to experience Helen Keller’s home virtually.

A teacher back in the classroom signed as storytellers painted a picture of Keller's early life.

"She saw technology advance rapidly in her own lifetime, so I think she would be really thrilled to see this happen because it would be very much the kind of thing she would be curious about and interested in," said storyteller Tim Lowry.

More than a dozen students from sixth grade to 12th grade from Charlestown County School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing checked out all of the rooms with a single screen.

"If she just wanted to learn something, she would just jump right in," Lowry said about Keller.

Students hundreds of miles away also taught other tourists who were visiting Keller's birthplace how to sign water, drink and "I’d prefer sweet tea."

"Here we are at the water pump, How do we sign water? W at the lips," Lowry said.

Many of the students asked questions as they toured the property.

The seventh annual storytelling and music festival continues all day Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Shoals Theater in downtown Florence. Click here to check out the listings.

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