Author and storyteller, Jim May, will be at Little Prairie Primary School tonight to help the East Troy schools kick off Bullying Prevention Month. The public is invited to the family friendly event.

By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

The East Troy Community School District Pupil Service Department is inviting the public to the fourth annual kick-off event for bullying prevention and awareness month on Monday, Oct. 1.

This year’s theme is “One kind word can change someone’s entire day.”

The event, at Little Prairie Primary School, 2109 Townline Road, begins at 6 p.m.

Jim May, author and storyteller, will talk about kindness and its importance to promoting healthy relationships.

“We need to teach respect for people who seem different than us and people we don’t know very well,” May said. “Part of what I do is try to teach them about things they wouldn’t normally run into – like American Sign Language. I teach them a few signs as part of the program.”

May said as an elementary school teacher, storyteller and author he’s always been moved by the sincerity of children and their willingness to learn and stories are his favorite way to reach kids.

“Stories are the little pieces of wisdom passed down through the ages to show us how to treat each other and telling those stories is the best way I know to help children, help all of us, live in a compassionate world.”

After the program, families will have an opportunity to purchase May’s autographed book, “The Boo Baby Girl Meets the Ghost of Mable’s Gable.”

The family friendly event is open to the community. RSVPs are not necessary. Families are invited to bring blankets and food to have a family picnic while May speaks.

Organizers will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items for the local food pantry at the event.

As in past years, the School District is asking community members to show their support by wearing a blue shirt on Oct. 1 in recognition of World Bullying Prevention Blue Shirt Day.

About Jim May

May has been a full-time, free-lance storyteller for 31 years. He has been appearing at the National Festival since 1987 as a featured, national storyteller, according to a press release from the School District.

May was the founding artistic director of the Illinois Storytelling Festival, held for 20 years in his hometown of Spring Grove, Illinois. He also co-founded Illinois Storytelling Inc., a non-profit, arts and education organization now in its 30th year.

May won an Emmy Award for his original story “A Bell For Shorty” on WTTW TV in Chicago. The story can be viewed at or on YouTube.

His new collection of stories, “Trail Guide For A Crooked Heart, Stories and Reflections for Life’s Journeys,” won a 2017 Anne Izard Storytelling Choice Award and a 2017 Storytelling World Award. The collection is a handbook of mostly short, humorous and thoughtful traditional and personal experience stories.

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