Whitesburg KY

Young storyteller to compete nationally in Utah showcase

David Benning, a seventh grade student at Rosspoint Elementary School in Harlan County, has been named a Kentucky Storytelling Association winner. He will participate in the National Youth Storytelling Showcase in Orem, Utah, Feb. 6-9, as part of the Timpanogos Storytelling Midwinter event.

He is the son of Brent and Jami Benning of Baxter, and the grandson of Jimmy and Linda Craiger of Partridge.

According to an article in the Harlan Daily Enterprise, “his winning performance came from the Appalachian folk tale of ‘Old Dry Frye’, the story of a preacher eating chicken and getting choked on a bone. The preacher eventually dies, but all the people he sought help from thought they had killed him.”

David began telling stories at an early age, and has been a Kentucky Youth Storytelling Torchbearer of the Kentucky Storytelling Association five times.

He told the Harlan Daily Enterprise “it ‘means a lot’ to be able to attend the national event. ‘I’ve never been west of the Mississippi River and I get to tell stories out there . . . There will also be workshops and I can meet kids from all over the country.’”

David must now raise money by early January to cover the travel expenses to Utah for the competition. Only 10 young storytellers will be contestants. Send tax deductible donations to: Rosspoint Elementary School PTO, Attn.: Cindy Gaw/NYSS, 132 Highway 522, Baxter, KY 40806.

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