Teach Literacy through the Arts in DC, MD, and VA

Nov 21, 2013

It's a Giving Time of Year!

Sharing the story of the tapestry
Sharing the story of the tapestry

'Tis the season of giving. How are YOU giving back to your community this holiday season? We are very excited that this project will be participating in Global Giving's Year-End Campaign.  They are offering NINE bonus awards to the top projects that raise the most money in GlobalGiving’s first-ever Year-End Campaign. The campaign begins at 12:01 am EST on December 1st and runs through 11:59 pm EST on December 31st.  Projects must raise at least $3,000 from 30 donors in order to qualify for a bonus award...so we need your help!

Your donations will continue to support exciting and innovative programming to develop literacy 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 arts integration initiatives to their Benchmark Afterschool Program working with middleschoolers. We are incredibly excited about the possibilities and with your help, we can make them happen. 

Can you help us rise to the top?

Nov 8, 2013

Thank you for an amazing year at Story Tapestries!

Thank You Global Giving Donors
Thank You Global Giving Donors

We at Story Tapestries cannot thank you enough for your incredible support of our work! The lives of hundreds of children are being impacted daily as a direct result of your generosity. Just check out a few of the projects you supported this past year!

We were able to increase our presence at Tyler Elementary School in the disadvantaged Southeast area of Washington DC and engage more students in after school programs. We were able to offer two new after school programs, including one directly funded by donations to our GlobalGiving microproject, Help Teach DC Students Through the Arts. These students deepened their understanding of essential math skills through movement and music, while experiencing the Brazillian art of Capoeira. Third graders practiced the actor's role as storyteller while exploring fundamental story elements and sequencing, crucial literacy skills.

With your help, we were able to provide matching grants to provide in depth artist-in-residency experiences to 9 schools in Maryland. These schools would not otherwise have been able to afford this high quality programming and the teachers were able to increase the tools available to them to reach their students more effectively.

Because of your support, we were able to give perfomances in 7 libraries across DC throughout the summer and fall. These free to the public performances were a wonderful opportunity for families to share a live theatre arts and storytelling experience.

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:


Sep 3, 2013

Summer Ends and School Begins

One of my Dreamers
One of my Dreamers

Normally, an excutive director is an administrator.  However as one of the founders of Story Tapestries, I don't think I can ever let go of the classroom.  On days when I wake up in the morning and have to sit at my desk, it is the children and their smiles that keep me returning to the computer.  It is the teacher's, the parents, the administrators and their dreams for the future that remind me to work hard.  

This summer, I had the priviledge of working in Baltimore City at a middle school.  I have to say it was not an easy environment.  BUT the staff was incredible.  We spent the morning partnering with Math and Science teachers.  The afternoon, I was given a team of young women to educate.  We explored our dreams for the future....We talked about dreams.....and we built a foundation for our dreams to grow upon.

In their words:

Myeisha: Everyone has a dream.

Keirra and Shamiara: Anyone can be what they want to be!

Shania: When I see myself as an adult, I see myself having lots of friends, having a career and a wonderful family.

Kaia: In order to have a future I have to do the right thing like going to school.

Skyler: That’s what I’m planning on doing in my future. 

Jalen: I’m going to ask my grandmother, another lawyer, about how to go against an opponent in court.

Nicole: I’m going to train to do my best.

Kayla: I hope I win in life for my family.

Everyone: These are our steps for tomorrow.

I hope that as the year progresses, Story Tapestries can help more children create their future.  If you enjoyed reading this story, please share it with your friends.  The more people know our story the more we people we can serve.  

A Lawyer in the Making!!!
A Lawyer in the Making!!!
Telling Stories
Telling Stories


Jun 14, 2013

Gearing up for Summer!

A Very Hungry Caterpillar
A Very Hungry Caterpillar

Wrapping up the school year

I've had an extremely full and rewarding year as a Teaching Artist with Story Tapestries, teaching music, drama, storytelling and more. I've been teaching after school at Maury Elementary since January and in that time, I have grown quite fond of two very sweet, often challenging, and ultimately inspiring groups of young children. Each week, I enter their afterschool classroom, where they have been running around, playing, reading, climbing all over each other and generally enjoying the freedom of their after school time. And here I come, with knowledge to impart and learning to facilitate. It's a difficult challenge for any out of school time program provider. We know that what we are doing is valuable, and we know it will be fun for the students, and we know that they will learn in spite of themselves...if only they will stay still or quiet long enough to hear us! But I feel lucky...the arts integration work that we are doing with Story Tapestries is exactly the kind of activity these students look forward to.  

I love it when they call me "the story lady" or jump up and down when I get there, asking what story we will do today. They LOVE hearing the stories, they can't wait to find out what happens next and act them out. They eagerly burn through art projects and bring them home, chatting all the way about the characters. They are learning story structure and character traits through these activities. They are learning that one event in a story leads to another and that actions have consequences. We explore setting and environment and build teamwork and respect by creating those settings together through movement and sound. And the music! They cannot get enough singing and dancing. Music helps tell the story, influences mood and reinforces key concepts. One of the teacher's aides told me that they wouldn't stop singing the song we learned while reading Stone Soup stories all week long. 

This week, we wrapped up our program by sharing performances of their favorite songs and stories with the other afterschool groups. I am so pleased to celebrate their success and progress with their peers! Your support is helping us to have this impact, and with your continued support, we will be able to return next year with even more programming! Thank you!!

Coming to a Library Near You!

Join us this summer for these free public performances: 


Parklands-Turner Library:

Monday, June 24

6:00 p.m.

1547 Alabama Ave. S.E.

Washington, DC 20032


Tenley-Friendship Library:

Wednesday, June 26

6:00 p.m.

4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20016


Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library:

Wednesday, August 14

1:30 p.m.

1630 7th St. NW

Washington, DC 20001


Rosedale Library:

Wednesday, August 14

4:00 p.m.

1701 Gales St. NE

Washington, DC 20002


Southeast Library:

Friday, August 16

1:30 p.m.

403 7th St. SE

Washington, DC 20003


We hope to see you and a friend at one of the upcoming performances! And if you are inspired by our work, please pass it on! We can't do this without you. 

Library Audience
Library Audience
May 16, 2013

Project Success and Great Art From Our Partners

Student Artwork
Student Artwork
Exciting Funding News!
Our microproject, Help Teach DC Elementary Students Through the Arts, has been successfully completely funded! We are so incredibly grateful to the generous donors who made this possible, especially those who contributed on the recent Bonus Day, increasing the value of their donations with GlobalGiving's matching funds. This project is currently underway at Tyler Elementary School, and students are engaged in learning capoeira, samba music and storytelling. We will be sharing photos and progress from this program very soon, so keep your eyes peeled! 
Gifts for Good

Your donations have been hard at work, inspiring young minds and building strong foundations for future learning! Students at Jessup Elementary, in programming funded by Global Giving donations, showed off their visual arts creativity. Using their original artwork, we created a series of beautiful, hand crafted note cards. 

Through GlobalGiving's Gifts for Good Program, donate $25 to our Teaching Literacy through the Arts Campaign and you'll receive 2 note cards each of 5 unique designs. The set of 10 cards are blank on the inside and include envelopes to share this bit of sunshine with your loved ones! Perfect for graduations, Father's Day, or thank you notes. 

Big Picture Thoughts: Why do I do this work?

As both a Teaching Artist and Program Director, I took some time recently to attempt to distill some thoughts on why I believe so strongly in the work of Story Tapestries. I believe that children innately love learning, but that joy and excitement can fade with an overabundance of tests and too much time spent sitting still at a desk. We need to get them excited about coming to school and learning! As a theatre artist, it is intuitive to me that so much learning happens through the process of creating something together. Students develop reading skills, creative problem solving abilities, and respect for others. However, there are many teachers who are intimidated by the arts, often due to lack of exposure themselves. I want to help these empower these teachers to feel comfortable with the tools of the arts, to give them the confidence to reach all their students. I love when we are able to connect ideas across subjects and we can see the learning spark light up in a student's eyes. This spark, this connection to the content through the arts leads to better retention of information and keeps kids coming back to school eager and excited to learn. Ultimately, I hope that I will hook my students on stories and they will have so much fun that they learn, despite themselves.
Self Portrait
Self Portrait
Imagination in Action
Imagination in Action
In the Woods
In the Woods
Underwater Scene
Underwater Scene
Creativity at work
Creativity at work

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Project Leader

Arianna Ross

Germantown, Maryland United States

Where is this project located?