Alice Sallins’ talent for communication is an integral part of the varied ways in which she serves her community. A gifted singer, she teaches music at a Henderson elementary school. She is the minister of an independent congregation and the author of a column on faith in the Henderson Daily Dispatch. She is also a storyteller in a tradition handed down by her mother, a native of Granville County.
Among her mother’s favorite stories to tell were narratives from the Bible. Sallins remembers that her mother’s delivery of these stories was especially vivid, because of her enthusiasm and ability to convey the essence of the different personalities. Sallins also grew up hearing folktales and fables, as well as the life experiences of her grandmother and other elders in the community. “I learned a lot from . . . sitting around older people.”
In her capacity as an educator, Sallins gets creative with different ways to spark childrens’ interests in reading. By acting out and expanding upon the words of a children’s book, she encourages the audience’s curiosity and presents integrative methods for kindling a life-long journey of learning amongst young people. She also shares traditional and childhood stories with her students, like the ones she remembers hearing as a child. She especially likes fables “because there are always lessons to be learned.”
In 2010, she gave her first public storytelling performances for adults. She believes that it is important to share stories, particularly those about community history, with grownups as well as children. She plans to seek future opportunities for sharing with the public her trove of tales.
“It was just that love that Mother inspired . . . I love when people are enjoying—they’re sitting on the edge of their seats, and they’re smiling…I get so excited just to see how excited they are.”