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

by Story Tapestries Inc.
Writing Assignments
Writing Assignments


Thank you for your continued support

FullSizeRenderAs promised here is another young author's writing sample. This is again from our recent visit to Jessup Elementary School. This time though the student is from Mrs. Siple’s Kindergarten class. It is a "take" on a Greek Myth style, the subject being: 

What causes big storms?

Below is the students outline for the story, enjoy!!

  1. Zeus: 110 years old, mean, grumpy, holds lightening bolt
  2. Hermes: 4 years old, sneaky, excited, holds a harp
  3. Athena: 19 years old, brave, miserable, holds a shield
Setting: The story takes place in outer space on the planet Mars. However, this Mars also has green trees and a deep blue lake.  This planet had a lot of rain and storms that came from the sky.  The rain looked like golden slime. It had dark blue clouds always hanging over it.
Problem: Suddenly, Zeus’ lightening bolt and cloud was not working.  He had to leave his cloud behind.  His cloud was constantly causing thunderstorms when it was not supposed to. One day, his cloud even started to pour on Athena while she was starting a war.  Instantly, the war ended and she was furious.  Athena was angry that she had been rained upon. It even messed up her luxuriously beautiful hair.  She was left standing by herself in the middle of the field.  She sent Hermes to Zeus.  He responded with IT’s NOT MY FAULT. Hermes brought a message from Zeus to Athena…HE REFUSED to apologize.  She marched over to where Zeus was reading a book. Hermes felt like he was in between two grumpy adults.  He looked at both of them not knowing what to do.  Athena chucked her sticky gooey lunch at Zeus. She laughed and shouted “HA HA HA, that’s what you get.”  It hit Zeus in the middle of his forehead. Liquid oozed into his surprised eyes.

FullSizeRender (3)



We simply can not get enough time with these young hearts. We love the time we get to have with them and truly enjoy the follow up stories and testimonials we get afterwards.







Thank you so much for your support, please continue to advocate for us by sending this report to friends and family that would love to be part of this project too. 


Thank you for your continued support



One of our partnering artist, Carrie Sue Ayvar, had a wonderful experience with another partnering group we love, The Learning Alliance. Here is her story of their time:


 “My hands say thank you with a clap, clap, clap. My feet say thank you with a tap, tap, tap.” It was an amazing, filled with magical, light-bulb-going-on moments, week in Vero Beach. We started off the week with a 3 hour workshop for Early Childhood Teachers, Once Upon A Story:

Early Childhood Language and Literacy Learning. Following the theory of an old Chinese Proverb, “Tell me & I forget. Show me & I remember. Involve me & I understand” seventy teachers rhymed and moved, played and learned and even told a story in three languages! How wonderful that so many of them let me know how they would use the strategies and skills we practiced. As one teacher wrote, “Multi-sensory literacy strategies learned was awesome. I will love using all the information given today.


Then came an Embedded Coaching and Residency with three brilliant teachers at the Child Care Resources of Indian River Center. Using child directed creative and dramatic play, we went on Imaginary Journeys, learned new rhymes, songs and stories, and used steady beat to enhance language acquisition. We not only boosted verbal communication, used our problem solving skills, practiced turn taking and cooperation but we had a huge amount of fun. How gratifying to hear how these amazing, gifted teachers are using the new strategies!

Here are a few quotes from teachers at these sessions:

“I’ve learned new strategies and techniques for building language and learning through play.” 


“I’ve learned so much this past week, adding signing and gestures, graphing, tally marks, props and more.”

“We were amazed at how receptive the children were to Carrie Sue’s introduction of the Spanish language. We plan to work on incorporating more multi-lingual activities.” How incredible to watch these two, three and four year olds absorb these ideas and use them throughout the day. They were retelling the stories, singing the songs on the playground, repeating rhymes at home to their parents.



On Parent’s Night the families came to play! All were eager to learn ways to support their children’s learning. They not only jumped right in but were excited to take these ideas home.

Parents walked away saying:           

“This was great. I will be using more Nursery Rhymes – everywhere!”

“Oh, you have inspired me to read and tell stories more. Thank you.”

This is exactly why I love being a Teaching Artist. A wonderful week and no doubt that the fun – and learning! – will be continuing. My hands, my feet, my heart all say thank you!



Thank you so much for your support, please continue to advocate for us by sending this report to friends and family that would love to be part of this project too. 


Thank you for your continued support


We love our students and schools we get to teach at. Jessup Elementary is no exception. The teachers and student sthere are remarkable. We recently had a few classes submit some original writings about Greek Myths. Student creativity is AMAZING. Check out this work submitted through Mrs. Donor’s classroom:

Original Greek Myth Characters:
  • Zeus (King of the Gods), 100 years old, Powerful, Excited
  • Poseidon (God of the Sea) 112 years old, Aggressive, Angry
  • Athena (Goddess of Wisdom) 40 years old, Brave, lonely
  • Artemis (Goddess of the Hunt and Moon), 99 years old, Helpful, Afraid


FullSizeRender (4)Setting: On a Gigantic Cloud above an ocean full of dangerous sharks, Spring Thunderstorm, Chilly, The sky is a dark ominously gray color, huge undulating waves Problem: Poseidon stirs up the ocean creating gigantic angry waves.  He wants to knock Athena off of the clouds and into the water.  Athena bragged directly to Poseidon “I’m  1 million times smarter than you!” She is so cruel to him because he made fun of her yesterday.  Artemis overheard and tells Athena that she’s right. Artemis shouts, “Poseidon is the meanie of the family.”


There were many examples from this school and we will send out more from these young "authors." What an exciting time to be involved in their lives. The creativity and imagination that pours from them is life changing. We LOVE what we do. We LOVE to impact students and thereby change the communities they and we live in.


Thank you so much for your support, please continue to advocate for us by sending this report to friends and family that would love to be part of this project too. 

Thank you so much for your continued support. The lifes that we get to touch daily is made possible by you. Thank you.

Story Tapestries is consistently collaborating with artist, we had the pleasure of doing so with Diane Macklin, storyteller and teaching artist, in December. Here is a snipet of her experience:

As 2015 came to a close, I was incredibly grateful to have worked at Bridges Early Learning Center in Vero Beach, FL in December. I met incredible educators, parents, and others invested in the care and education of our most precious community members – children.

Family Literacy NightsWe had a delightful, embedded residency where the teachers made the commitment, as well as the center’s staff, to have a series of planning meetings from start to finish of the week long experience; a Saturday professional development lead by Arianna Ross followed by planning time so the teachers could set goals and prepare for a week that would conclude with them as the lead teacher of a multi-sensory based learning activity; and, the generous gift of a willing spirit and opened doors, allowing me to work with the children as a co-teacher and their teachers as a coach. I am so impressed with what the teachers were able to accomplish in such a short time. I do not believe it would have been possible without their constant flexibility, honesty, and willingness to be creative. Here are some of the reflections by the teachers: Read them and the rest of the story HERE




It is always an honor and privilege to work with Diane. Surely you will hear more from her as we continue to collaborate on future projects and events.


Thank you so much for your support, please continue to advocate for us by sending this report to friends and family that would love to be part of this project too.


What an incredible Fall for Story Tapestries!!!!  Over the last 4 months, we have completed 6 long term residencies and multiple family events in MD, DC and FL. All of the programs were supported by Story Tapestries artists, donors and grants written by the Story Tapestries' team in collaboration with other organizations. If we wrote about all of them, than this report would be incredibly long, but you can read more HERE.


Recently, we worked with all of Kent Island Elementary School's 2nd grade team. Without the Story Tapestries matching funds to support this work, it would not have happened. The PTA paid for a portion and they wrote a grant for another piece of the pie but that still was not enough. We appealed to our donors and raised enough money to spend 4 days with each classroom. It was a powerful experience for both the students, teachers, and the artist...The teacher's said that they observed during the work students who never shine, who never add their voice to a story, talking up a storm.
At the top of December, we launched a new section of our partnership with The Learning Alliance to coach teachers and early childhood center directors on how to improve the way they use multi-sensory strategies with their 0-5 year olds...On Saturday December 5th, Arianna Ross, taught the first Saturday workshop, Harnessing the Power of the Arts: Teaching Literacy, to over 60 teachers from Indian River County. We used elements of storytelling, dance, drama, visual arts and writing to increase the teacher's ability to develop their students' emergent literacy understanding, cognitive power, fine and gross motor development as well as their knowledge of the core subjects.
Untitled design (1)
...Besides giving the teachers a range of strategies, we found that there was an added success, a community of early childhood educators, who now knew each other at a deeper level, spoke the same language and wanted the same results for their children. 
Our goal was for the team to leave the workshop with activities to support purposeful play, help them meet their FL Gold Standards, and to develop their ability to ask open ended questions...One educator left the workshop saying that now she is planning to incorporate children's imagination into their learning by asking open ended questions. Another mentioned "I like reading, then acting out, illustrating and surmising what happens after the written word ends." The overall response to the start of this pilot program was "GREAT workshop!!"
Thank you so much for your support, please continue to advocate for us by sending this report to friends and family that would love to be part of this project too. 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Story Tapestries Inc.

Location: Germantown, MD - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.storytapestries.com/​
Project Leader:
Arianna Ross
Germantown, Maryland United States
$25,070 raised of $30,000 goal
567 donations
$4,930 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. Learn more.
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter