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Shanley and MSUM grad's love for acting turns into a fairy tale career and educational opportunity for Fargo students

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - "Once Upon a Time..." is how many of our favorite stories from childhood begin. WDAY 6 reporter Drew Trafton tells us how fairy tales led to a career for an area graduate, and an educational opportunity today in a Fargo classroom.

The majority of third graders at Clara Barton met a character larger than life today: Rapunzel.

Shanley and MSUM grad Nicole Fenstad now lives in the Twin Cities after a decade touring the globe as an actress. She has turned a fairy tale dream of a job in to a bonafide business.

Nicole Fenstad/Princess Party Pals, "The jist is to create magical, enchanting experiences for little girls and little boys. Essentially, I mostly do birthday parties but I've been branching out to do more educational opportunities."

Her business, Princess Party Pals, also includes quite a bit of volunteer work. She makes regular appearances for the Minneapolis Children's Hospital and Make-A-Wish Foundation. Fenstad recently she added classroom visits.

The appearance wasn't all spells and sorcerey. Fairy tales are a key component to the North Dakota writing curriculum. The tales cover key aspects of writing such as exposition, sequence of events and symbolism."

And this Rapunzel does not just focus on recent iterations.

Cheryl Bombenger/Clara Barton 3rd Grade Teacher, "There's lots of different versions of them. From the Grimm Brothers to Hans Christian Andersen, to sometime kids know the Disney version as well. So, we tackle all sides of it."

Host 3rd grade teacher Cheryl Bombenger, who happened to be Fenstad's 6th grade teacher, is also using the opportunity to incorporate a hot component to education these days by adding a STEM spin.

Bombenger, "Even though they're doing fairy tales, we want them to be thinking, 'How long was her hair?' We want them to be thinking about all the different aspects of, 'If she was escaping her tower, what kind of means could she use to escape from her tower."

And believe it or not STEM, writing, story telling and Fenstad's business all bring together a common theme found in Fairy Tales.

Fenstad, "It has just been the love of my life."

That with hard work and imagination...

Fenstad, "Isn't it fun to study fairy tales?"

dreams can come true.

Click here if you'd like to learn more about Princess Party Pals, you can visit this link on our website.

Drew Trafton

I joined the WDAY 6 news team in September of 2013 as a weekend anchor and reporter. I am currently the Assistant News Director and 5p.m. anchor. Previous to arriving in the F-M area, I worked as a broadcast journalist at the CBS affiliate (KTVQ) in Billings, Montana (sidenote: my hometown). I have worn many hats in my young broadcast career as an anchor, reporter, producer, sports producer and online producer. However, my favorite role to play is storyteller. Off the clock (are we ever really off the clock?) I enjoy taking in a sporting event on TV or in person. On the professional level, I root for Seattle teams. As a graduate of the University of Montana, I also enjoys FCS football (but forgive my allegiance). I also enjoy reading, watching movies, listening to good music and frolicking in the outdoors. I enjoy those things all the more when I can do them with my wife and our daughter. If you have a story idea for me, or just want to say hello, you can send me an email!

(701) 241-5384
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