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

by Story Tapestries Inc.

Your support matters!! Thank you for giving!!


Families in DC got funky with the fun, fresh musical approach of Jamaal Collier at a local Washington D.C. School. During a Family Night event, Jamaal used music to engage participants in literacy development activities that had them laughing, clapping and having a ball. Jamaal was welcomed to an atmosphere that was alive with benevolent, rambunctious vitality and the family and community energy present only increased as the evening went on.

Family Night participants were eager with anticipation, excited to hear what the artist had to share with them. Jamaal’s performance addressed how music is all around us, the significance of the culture of Hip Hop and its history. He showed how we do many things with a rhythm and our own unique style, like rhyming. He performed a few original songs, some parodies of popular Rap songs and invited everyone in the audience to create music with him.

Children and adults alike were alert and enthusiastic to share and participate in the call-and-response time near the end. Sometimes when Jamaal would ask questions of the little ones, their parents were so engaged that they would forget he’d asked the kids to respond and blurt out the answer themselves in their excitement. Jamaal had a wonderful time sharing with everyone and left the school with a great sense of gratitude for the power music has to connect us to one another and to our personal histories.

We want more of these moments. Our goal is to increase our community impact by 25% in 2016.  Last year we reached 89,700 people and in 2016 we hope to reach 115,000. 


Thank you for helping us make precious evenings like the Family Night described above possible!


If you connect with this vision or know a friend who would please consider donating, please share this report with friends and family, or simply mention Story Tapestries in conversation.  Know that your voice is having an enormous impact!


With the end of the year drawing near we are taking a look back at our year and seeing the phenominal impact your support has had on us, schools, community centers, leaders, professionals and parents. Not one day goes by that someone isn't impacted by the great community that is sharing our passion on this project. Growth is happening because of you. Students are gaining deeper understandings of various concepts. Professionals are being traing and learning new tools on how to build on these foundations. Parents are leaving workshops with activities and ideas to round out their childrens learning in the home.


Look at these numbers!! YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN!!


The donations you have so generously partnered with Story Tapestries projects have so for accomplished:

·Engaging OVER 400,000 Students

·Engaging OVER 11,000 Adults

·Engaging OVER 800 Educational Institutions

·Engaging OVER 300 Community Organizations

·In 2014 alone we reached 89,700 people and we are on the path to increase that number by 10% by the end of this year.


We can not say it enough how much we appreciate all that you do sharing our work, donating to specific projects, and even volunteering when there is an opportunity.





If you connect with this vision or know a friend who would please consider donating – it is having an enormous impact. Also please share this report with friends and family, or simply mention Story Tapestries in conversation.

So Proud - exhibiting their examples
So Proud - exhibiting their examples

Your support matters!! Thank you for giving!!


This last week we were at a local school in Maryland teaching with 2nd graders and 3-5th grader classes. We were able to work with this particular school because they had received grant from Maryland State Arts Council AND a matching portion from Story Tapestries. We were able to match their grant from the donations we have received from you through Global Giving. Without your support none of the following would have been able to take place.


We were so in sync with the teachers’ needs that our customization fit right into their lesson plan. One teacher, in the 3rd grade class, was teaching on character traits as we walked into the room. It fit perfectly into the lesson plan we had for the day. The 2nd grade teacher had math vocabulary on her plan for the next day. So, our techniques bridging the concepts of multiplication, division, addition and subtraction through gesture, movement and drama was a perfect lead in for her.


The arts-literacy tools we used developed an understanding and foundation for the students (in all grade levels) to build on and enabled them to write their own examples of the work by the end of classes. The 3rd – 5th graders were writing their own story starters and the 2nd graders wrote their own math word problems. These are the results we want to see; students grasping and applying the tools taught.


We are actively looking for more funding for this school. This is one of the first of many we will work with this next year. Many will be in a financial hard spot at the end of their residency. They want the arts-literacy artists in their schools but simply cannot afford to hire them.


If you connect with this vision or know a friend who would please consider donating – it is having an enormous impact. Also please share this report with friends and family, or simply mention Story Tapestries in conversation.

Your participation in our projects to bring the Arts into every core standard is making tracks and showing instant results in the students and teachers we work with. Thank you so much for your continued support of these events and workshops. Here is one of our experiences:


Looking back on my PD Workshop and embedded residency with the staff of Pathways (workshop) and Edgewood (embedded), I can't help but smile - THEY DID NOT WANT TO DANCE. (We did.) And it was great.

Edgewood: The three teachers I worked with were game to try new things - and GAME is the word. For all classes, we made movement a playful ritual that started each class. Armed with painter's tape, oversized post cards, a sound system, and the curriculum, we set to work.

In science, we made large notecards to reinforce the vocabulary words and key concepts from the text on deforestation. Our game was to scatter the notecards on the floor and have each student select a card from the pile until all the cards were selected. Students wrote the definition on the back of the card and shared the card with the class. One by one, we built a word wall that was taped up, large enough for all to see. If a student forgot a word, they could go pull it off the wall, review it, use it, and return it. Eventually, we organized the key concepts into a grid by category and "filled in the blanks". Students also drew forest scenes and created a dance about a healthy forest, including the animals and brush growth and demonstrated the effects of deforestation through the depopulation of their "stage".


PD Workshop: WHEW! Talk about a tough crowd. Initially, the teachers of Pathways did not want to dance. They. Did. Not. Want. To. Dance. But, minute by minute, the teacher's melted into the flow of our moving introduction, praising each other's moves, and getting to see each other in a whole new light. We explored how to teach math through movement. We created a math poem as a group. We moved our poetry and used tableau as a starting point for movement. We laughed. We hugged. We learned. The group came together in a raucous and beautiful way that created some lasting motivation to incorporate movement into the curriculum.


To read the whole story go HERE.


Thank you again for continuing to bring the Arts into the lives of our communities.


If you love being part of this project please send it to a friend who can love supporting it too.

Performing with Confidence
Performing with Confidence

Thank you so much for choosing to be a continued part of this project. We could not accomplish what we do without you.


Often times we send you a note of one of our experiences or an upcoming event in our report. This time we would like to share with you a note from one of our Board Members on why she decided to become a partner with Story Tapestries.


"Becoming involved with Story Tapestries was not a difficult decision for me given all that the company has done for my school. I first met Arianna Ross about six years ago when she was selected by my school as a performing artist in an assembly. I was intrigued by her arts integration style so when she approached me about scheduling a full blown residency with her for the next school year, I was eager to make it happen. Unfortunately, my school was just unable to afford the residency and we weren't able to make it happen for a few years. It was those years that Story Tapestries was being born out of hard work, need, and sweat. The seemingly insurmountable financial gap was suddenly non existent and Jessup Elementary School's partnership with Arianna Ross and Story Tapestries began. That partnership has been going strong for over four years. Experiencing the power of this company's programming first hand, made it a no brainer to become involved on the board level when I was approached. I look forward to bringing awesome arts integration programming to other schools that may have fallen between the cracks just like Jessup."


We are continually connecting with and developing relationships like this one. These connections are the building blocks of our organization. They create our framework and expand our reach within the communities we serve. We would love to further deepen and broaden the reach of our partnership with you. If you have a need or interest please contact us. 


If you love this project please share with a friend and encourage them to take part in this project too.

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Organization Information

Story Tapestries Inc.

Location: Germantown, MD - USA
Website: http://www.storytapestries.com/
Project Leader:
Arianna Ross
Germantown, Maryland United States
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