By Dr. Jenelle S. Miller
The National Mensa Annual Gathering was held in San Diego at the beginning of July 2016. The gathering hosted numerous programs and special events for members of Mensa and their guests. To qualify for Mensa, you must have scored in the top 2 percent of the general population on any one of more than 200 accepted, standardized intelligence tests — including Mensa administered admission tests — at any point in your life.
I had the unique pleasure of attending this gathering to assist with the children’s program which consisted of about 60 Mensa students between the ages of 4 and 12. In between a couple of science sessions, I engaged the children in a unique story that has been a part of my family since my father was a little boy. As you will see in the photo taken during the event, I became a storyteller and performed the Tajar Tales with puppets. Back in 1993 my artist sister, Jill Kerry, and I republished this whimsical tale written by Jane Shaw Ward in the 1920s; and then created the puppets, plush Tajar dolls, and an audio CD to develop a complete "story kit." I often use the story kit as an example during my "Student Publisher's Workshop" where I teach children how to collaborate together to write, illustrate, and narrate stories as well as make puppets and perform puppet shows. My sister and I are both big fans of including the Arts in education.