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

Feb 26, 2013

Building Pride in Learning at Tyler Elementary School


First of all, we wanted to begin with a Thank You.  We know that you get thank you notes every time you donate but you must realize that without your support these projects would not come to fruition. My name is Debbi Arseneaux, and I am a Program Director and a Master Teaching Artist with Story Tapestries. From November to January, I worked with 2nd and 3rd graders after school at Tyler Elementary, reading stories and bringing them to life.  We aimed to increase understanding of main idea and story structure by helping the students act out scenes from the stories and giving voice to the characters. WE had success at a level I did not expect.  The students finished the program by creating their own versions of the stories in new settings, changing details but keeping the main lessons intact. Throughout, we used writing and visual art projects as well to engage every learner.

This group of students was at times challenging, and tested both my patience and my teaching skills. But the smiles and hugs they gave when they enjoyed an activity, the pride in their voices when they made a new realization, the thrill they got when given the chance to get up and perform a role...these moments were so bright and so inspiring that the struggles fade away. In these sessions, they develop difficult but important life skills as well, like teamwork, listening, respecting each other and taking turns. 

One teacher in the classroom told me that she had never seen some of these students so engaged and so vocal in their participation. So despite the occasional rough day, I know I am getting through, and I know we are making progress, and I sincerely hope that these students continue to receive the encouragement and opportunities to thrive through creative expression that they need to succeed. 
We will be launching a new microproject on March 5th to continue offering programming at Tyler and your support will be essential to the success of the next chapter.  If you can, forward this project report on to your community.  Let me know about this organization you support.  Tell them to Look for more details soon! Thank you again for playing an important role in the future of these students.
Dec 28, 2012

What did we accomplish in our First Year on Global Giving? What will we accomplish now?

Beat Tube Ensemble:  Learning Through Music
Beat Tube Ensemble: Learning Through Music

Story Tapestries, Inc.

With art, understanding; with understanding, community

Every year,  at this time, we, as an organization, make a list of what we accomplished last year as an arts and education organization and we assess our future strategic plan.  Last year, we met during the summer and came up with a new five year plan. HOWEVER, personally as the Executive Director,I always take a moment at the end of one year and start of another to create a list of dreams.  Many of these resolutions listed below are a huge part of our mission and vision

Our mission is to expose communities, nationally and internationally, to the concept of arts integration as a multi-faceted arts approach that seeks to affect all aspects of a person’s development and life.

Our vision is to create a world-class network of artists, educators, businesses and community members empowered to educate and encourage people to integrate the arts into their lives.

What happened last year???

We have.....

  • Given more than $11,000 in funds to organizations in Maryland, DC, and Virginia who otherwise couldn't afford programming
  • Partnered with 4 DC public schools to provide free or reduced cost residency programs
  • Partnered with National Children's Museum to present a performance and workshop mini-series at their Launch Zone (sponsored by ST)
  • Applied and Recently became a America’s Promise Alliance National Partner
  • Established a strong network of trained artists that are prepared to deliver customized programs with the Story Tapestries approach
  • Established a system for schools, libraries, museums and community centers to request monetary support for programs
  • Identified an accomplished advisory team of educators, librarians, community leaders and parents we meet with on a monthly basis to assess the needs of greater region

What are your New Year's Resolutions?   

Our company will:

  • Engage entire communities to work together to transform the way children learn.
  • Increase the number of students who graduate from high school and move on to college.
  • Raise the literacy and math level of the students in the school systems we work with on a daily basis.
  • Strive to increase the amount of physical activity teachers will use in the classroom to stimulate the brain.
  • Donate twice as many books to families as we did last year.
  • Provide twice as many free programs to families, communities and schools who need support.
  • Raise twice as much money as last year.

As an organization, we will continue to accomplish these tasks by working with the entire community connecting the parents/grandparents to the teachers/libraries/after school programs to the administration to ultimately the superintendents and those who are creating policy. We need to make this network stronger in order for our children to grow into the healthy, successful individuals we wish they will become.



Dec 10, 2012

Building Community One Smile At A Time

The Artist Experience


Each time a Story Tapestries artist walks into a classroom, they are greeted with warm welcomes and excited salutations.  It's a great gift to see the joy and anticipation for the newest lesson.  

While our artists work hard to impart knowledge and understanding about academic subject matter, there is no greater gift than when a child is inspired to learn.  The spark that creates a desire and interest in engaging in academic work is precious and rewarding.

Come be a part of this joy by experiencing upcoming public performances!


Mark Your Calendar!


Teach Literacy Through the Arts at

Takoma Park Library

Join Arianna Ross and Story Tapestries

at Takoma Park Library! 


Come see a fun, family-friendly performance FREE

Saturday, December 15, 11am

 Takoma Park Library

101 Philadelphia Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912

What Story Tapestries has committed to this giving season:

  • Sponsor 2 weeks of programming in 2 different schools that have No art teacher, No music teacher and No librarian
  • Perform at the Takoma Park Library on December 15th at 11am 
  • Donate books to families that do not have the funds to buy books for their children
  • Increase the number of volunteers we have who help make our programs successful
  • Pledge to raise more money this year to fund programs in the schools and community

We are so grateful for your support and look forward to continuing to share with you about the thousands of lives you help us reach each week with the gift of literacy!

Nov 26, 2012

A new way to give importance to Giving Back!

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year help create #GivingTuesday™, the giving season’s opening day. On Tuesday November 27, 2012 charities like Story Tapestries, families, businesses and individuals are coming together to transform the way people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.  It’s a simple idea.  Find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to join in acts of giving. Tell everyone you can about what you are doing and why it matters.  Forward this e-mail to at least 10 people you personally know.  Join a national celebration of our great tradition of generosity. And together we’ll create ways to give more, give better and give smarter.

Tell us about what you're going to do to celebrate!

We at  Story Tapestries, this giving season, are going to:

Sponsor 2 weeks of programming in 2 different schools that have No art teacher, No music teacher and No librarian

Perform at the Takoma Park Library on December 15th at 11 am

Donate books to families that do not have the funds to buy books for their children

Increase the number of volunteers we have who help make our programs successful

Pledge to raise more money this year to fund programs in the schools and community

If you wish to help Story Tapestries make these “Gifts” to the community come true, donate to our Teaching Literacy through the Arts Campaign.  In the month of December, a recurring donation that ensures the continuation of programming will be matched by Global Giving, making your gift even more meaningful.

Most importantly, help Global Giving and its partners, like Story Tapestries, show the nation that giving has as much importance as receiving by participating in the first annual #GivingTuesday!

Share on our Facebook event page what you are doing to give back this Tuesday!
Can you read a story at a local library?  Donate books for those who can't afford them?  Read a story to your children at home and tell them about this special event?  What other ideas do you have for being part of Giving Tuesday?
We can't wait to hear all about them!


Nov 8, 2012

Campaign Kick-off and a library performance in MD

Dear donors and key supporters,

We are so excited to have an opportunity to spend time with you on November 18 - sharing about a year of achievements, enjoying music, snacks and performances, and gearing up for the future as we continue our fight against illiteracy in the greater DC metro area.  As the kick-off to our annual campaign, a juggler, storytellers, and the family-friendly samba band Samba Trovao will help us celebrate in style for an afternoon/evening of family fun.    Family Fun Day will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Derwood, MD, between Rockville and Gaithersburg and conveniently near the Shady Grove metro station.  Activities will start at 2:30pm, Samba Trovao will heat things up starting at 5pm and will play until 7pm.  We look forward to this opportunity to show you our appreciation!

Click here for more details!

We're looking forward to sharing with you the wonderful work of Story Tapestries artists and to launching another successful year of arts-integrated literacy programs for the MD-DC-VA region.  Please join us for this exciting event!

In December, we are also excited to perform a Teaching Literacy Through the Arts program at Takoma Park Library.

Join Arianna Ross and Story Tapestries at Takoma Park Library!
Come see a fun, family-friendly performance at Takoma Park Library - FREE
Saturday, December 15, 11am
Takoma Park Library
101 Philadelphia Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 20912


Thank you for your continued support.  Your donations allow us to reach more than 1,000 people each week with valuable arts integrated educational programs that help us combat illiteracy.  We look forward to reaching thousands more in the greater DC metro region in 2013! 



About Project Reports

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Project Leader

Arianna Ross

Germantown, Maryland United States

Where is this project located?