STEM plus Arts = Learning Full STEAM ahead!

Jun 9, 2014

The Laws of Motion in Action!

“Thank you for working so closely with our teachers, being so creative, and inspiring our children to think above and beyond.” Shelly Cefalu, PTA representative at North Forest Pines Elementary School

The Request: Can you create a residency that engages the students while simultaneously educates the students about the Laws of Motion?

The Answer: No problem. We will use a combination of the elements of Dance, Drama, and Storytelling to teach the students the three basic Laws of Motion. You will be able to assess their understanding of their knowledge of the subject throughout the process by the questions you ask them and the answers they are readily able to give. They will complete the FIVE day residency by creating a live human machine that moves and talks. They will demonstrate how they machine is affected by changes in mass and force through changes in their movement. The students will each write and perform a short monologue from the machine’s point of view. You will notice that all students at all levels will be able to participate. I can guarantee you that not one child will feel left out and all learning styles will be reached. We will use visual, audio, kinesthetic and tactile methods for learning.

The Result: A fantastic STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) residency where learning, collaboration and fun was had by all. One hundred and twenty-five students were taught the three Laws of Motion. One hundred and twenty-five students students choreographed and performed a piece of movement. One hundred and twenty-five students wrote and presented a short monologue using descriptive language. Five teachers and hundreds of parents were THRILLED.

Student Response: THIS is incredible. Can we do this every year? I did not know that science could be easy. Did we really build a live machine? I would go to school every day with a smile on my face if we always had workshops like this.

My Response: I love teaching students using arts integration. It is such a pleasure to watch as the light bulb of learning turns on and they become excited about what’s next.

THE QUESTION: How can we ensure that every school has an arts integrated STEAM program?

THE ANSWER: We at Story Tapestries are working towards the goal of having a STEAM program in schools across the country. We apply for grants, make connections, raise money and partner with administrators to bring these programs to their community.

Help these stories continue to be told by joining us for Bonus Day! YouthSpark Bonus Day is just around the corner on June 25th! Microsoft will be matching all donations at 100% and there is $200,000 in matching funds!

                                      Thank you for your support!

Mar 31, 2014

STEAMing Right Along

Here at Story Tapestries we believe that learning = movement. The experience of learning moves students forward both personally and academically. We also know that in order for a child to successfully move full STEAM ahead in their lives, including the arts in their education is a necessity.

The arts are the glue that holds the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) of STEAM together. Our teaching artists integrate concepts across disciplines and engage both sides of the brain in the learning process; activating the minds of every type of learner, and helping students dissolve all barriers to learning. Learning through the arts means creating an experiential learning environment where children utilize all their senses to synthesize information. The push and pull of disseminating information between teacher and student can often be an interaction that is difficult to navigate.

Utilizing the arts into STEM and core curriculum empowers teachers to help students reach their full personal potential, bringing the fun back into the learning process. Thanks to your support, our thoughts and ideas are turned into actions and programs that are transforming the lives of teachers and students. Our STEAM programs allow students to build something they can be proud of while learning valuable life skills, such as teamwork, creative problem solving, and overcoming obstacles. We aim to give students a break from endless standardized tests and get them away from working in isolation by moving them into an interactive, inspiring group dynamic.

Thank you for being a part of this inspiring learning process, allowing us to keep moving forward!

Pictured: Max Bent teaching math and science through beatboxing in a Story Tapestries residency program.

Dec 30, 2013

Bringing In Smiles One Child At a Time

We wish you a Beautiful, Holiday Season full of smiles, light and laughter.

Happy Holidays

This year  has been an amazing journey.  WE simply want to say Thank you for all of your support.  The children in our community benefit from your belief in the power of the arts to change community. 



Our Impact, Your Impact, the Arts IMPACT

 Today was the last day of school before break.  A Kindergarten student came up to  Arianna Ross, our Executive Director, and said "Thank you.  I do like school. But I love coming to class when you are here.  Can you come every day?"

 Sadly, we can't come every day.  Our time at a school is finite.  However, our goal is to build sustainable arts integration programming in every location we partner with across the country.  We have partners now in MD, DC, VA, FL, NC, LA and CA.   AND we are planning to spread the gift of arts to other states even as we write this e-newsletter.  

WE know and you know the value of the arts.  We just have to convince everyone else through our actions.  The more we do, the more we can change our community. 

A NOTE From the Executive Director:

 We at Story Tapestries wish you and yours a Happy Holidays.  Thank you for the gift of  supporting the arts and education.  We look forward to seeing where 2014 takes us.  I believe that we are at the edge of a cliff towards great expansion.  We get calls on a weekly basis from donors who wish to support our programs.  At the same time, we get calls from schools who need financial support to bring the arts to their communities.  Just $35 can make sure a student experiences an in-depth 5 day artist-in-residency program.  $55 gives 3 adults professional development training to benefit hundreds of children.

Thank you,

Arianna Ross

Executive Director



Dec 9, 2013

Giving Thanks for #GivingTuesday

Imagination at work
Imagination at work

Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have blown us away with your generosity. In one day, we were able to raise over $800 to support STEAM arts integration programming and we have you to thank. 

To give you an example of how your support makes a difference, I wanted to share a story from just this past week. Executive Director and Master Teaching Artist Arianna Ross reports from the classroom about having a moment of sheer joy at the impact of the work of a teaching artist: 

"There was one particular student, one of my 5 year olds, who had been labelled as difficult, disruptive...then, when it came time to present the story, she was one of the most active participants. I was able to point to her as a positive example for the other students. Again and again, I see that it's the kids who appear to the classroom teachers to be a lost cause who really step up and thrive in arts activities. It's amazing to see that lightbulb of understanding go on. When they receive the positive attention they crave, they turn into our greatest success stories. It's not that the teachers don't want to give all of their students the attention they need, it's just that they are so often just overwhelmed and underresourced. We are there to offer them additional tools and support to help all their students succeed."  

As an additional special thank YOU, you will receive a lovely gift, through the Gifts for Good program, for new donations of $40 or more. We will send you a set of 10 notecards with the unique artwork of students in one of our programs. They are blank inside so you can use them for holiday cards, thank you cards,'s your turn to be creative! 

Check it out here:

As we reflect on the successes and challenges of the past year, we are so grateful to have you as part of the Story Tapestries network. We need your help to continue to spread the word about the work we do to reach students through the arts. Please "like" us on Facebook and help us grow our network by inviting at least 5 friends to like us as well!

Happy Holidays!


Nov 21, 2013

It's a Giving Time of Year!

Thank you!
Thank you!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and on the heels of this traditional opportunity to give thanks and celebrate family and togetherness, Global Giving and Story Tapestries will be participating in a new tradition, #GivingTuesday. 

This project has been approved for participation in Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative. This means that our project is eligible for YouthSpark’s #GivingTuesday campaign taking place on December 3rd.  Microsoft will be matching all donations on that day at 100%, with $250,000 up for grabs! You saw that right...100% matching donations. Your generosity will be doubled, and your impact magnified exponentially. Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, Dec 3 and give, give, give! 

Your donations will continue to support exciting and innovative programming to develop STEM skills through the arts, to increase learning retention by reaching the whole child and to build community support through parent and teacher involvment in the education process. We are currently developing partnerships with Arena Stage and Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County to reach students with emotional and behavioral challenges and keep them engaged in learning through the arts. We are in the process of creating programming in partnership with the local YMCA to bring STEAM initiatives to their Benchmark Afterschool Program.  We are incredibly excited about the possibilities and with your help, we can make them happen. 

We at Story Tapestries cannot thank you enough for your amazing support of our work! The lives of hundreds of children are being impacted daily as a direct result of your generosity. With your continued generosity, we will continue to offer powerful, life changing arts experiences and arts integration programs to schools, libraries and communities. A few of our friends would like to thank you as well. We hope their smiling faces make your day as much as they do ours!

Click the Thank You Video link below:

And we hope you will join us on #GivingTuesday, December 3! How are YOU giving back this holiday season?


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Project Leader

Arianna Ross

Germantown, MD United States

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