Cheryl Thornton, MFA.
Cheryl Thornton is a preeminent storyteller, experienced educator, entrepreneur and co-developer of Storyvalues Interactive, the popular online resource licensed for use by over 200,000 educators, students and families in North America and Australia.
By the time Cheryl moved to Toronto from New York City in 1998, she had a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and was a seasoned off-broadway performer, most notably working with playwright Tony Kushner in several of his productions.
She had also founded the Washington Heights Creative Pre-School in Manhattan, where she expanded her lifelong love of drama, stories and storytelling into a popular educational and arts program.
After relocating to Toronto, Cheryl wrote, produced and performed for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and also appeared on CTV and Roger’s Cable.
In 2000, Cheryl combined her performing and educational experience by founding ‘Creativity for Life’, a unique program of interactive, curriculum supportive storytelling and drama performances for elementary schools.
Cheryl has since performed in hundreds of schools, for literally thousands of Ontario students. She has also conducted workshops for school districts and corporations in the United States and Canada on how storytelling can be used in education and business.
Her professional experiences have demonstrated how classic myths and fables resonate deeply with children and adults alike, sparking the imagination, igniting the intellect and conveying important information about the positive values we all have in common.
Cheryl’s inspiration for Storyvalues was born from the need expressed to her by educators, students and parents for a spoken word resource that conveys the positive multicultural messages embodied in traditional world literature. In 2007, Cheryl and Matthew Giffin co-founded Storyvalues, Inc., creating an online educational resource that joined modern online technology with the ancient tradition of storytelling.
In 2015, Storyvalues was rebranded as KapowKidz and chosen to be one of just ten Ontario companies to participate in the inaugural CAMP program with the Ontario Centres for Excellence and the China-Canada Angels Alliance. In 2016 KapowKidz / China was established.
Cheryl’s performing expertise and educational experience informs the ongoing development of KapowKidz programs, from state-of-the-art storytelling training sessions to the selection and recording of stories and the development of curriculum and supporting educational materials.