Story Preservation Initiative®

We believe in the importance of sharing ideas and the transformative power of story. For info on our K-3 Learning Lab projects, go to: www.storypreservation.org

Posts from the ‘About Story Preservation’ category

Check out our K-12 Learning Lab Projects!

Story Preservation has created a new and unusual approach to student engagement, literacy, and experiential learning for students in grades K-12.  And guess what?  It’s all free!

Go to: http://www.storypreservation.org

Then click on K-3 Learning Lab or 4-12 Learning Lab.  One time registration to set a user name and passcode.  Then you’re in.

 

Story Preservation Initiative is a 501c3 public charity. 

Support = ❤  (-:   To make a tax-free (as allowed by law!) donation, go to: https://storypreservation.wordpress.com/donate/

 

 

Jay O’Callahan – SPI Brings One of America’s Best Loved Storytellers into the K-3 Classroom

Story Preservation Initiative’s new K-3 Storytelling Learning Lab is a free, online resource that is all about LITERACY! First step in the literacy building block: Instill in young kids (K-3) a love of story and see how it translates in later years to a love of reading!!

Time Magazine dubbed Jay a “genius” and it is no wonder why. Jay enchants listeners old and young as he “slips into the souls of his characters and captures the wonder and sparkling sense of life welled up inside them, creating a magical world of hope, courage and dignity.” Jay has performed at Abbey Theatre in Dublin, National Theatre Complex in London, the Olympics, Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Hall, and other theaters throughout the world.

 

Jay writes the stories he performs and the hallmark of his talent is the “passion he brings to big and small dramas of ordinary life.” Listen to Herman and Marguerite and you’ll understand exactly what this means.

Jay created Forged in the Stars, a story that was commissioned by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), which he has performed at locations around the country.

In addition, the National Endowment of the Arts awarded Jay a fellowship for solo performance excellence. He has received numerous other awards for his performances, books, audiotapes and videos from the National Education Film Festival, Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals, Parents’ Choice, New England Theater Conference and UNESCO, to name a few. Jay is a regular contributor to National Public Radio.

SPI continues to work to expand the site and bring more world-class storytellers directly into the K-3 classroom, so stay tuned!

 

In keeping with the Story Preservation Learning Lab model already in place for grade levels 4 – 12, SPI supplements the K-3 audio recordings with additional materials, including recommended teacher read-aloud books and engaging hands on story-making tools for kids. This is all designed to help young people connect what they are hearing to universal virtues and concepts, their own life experience, different cultures and customs, and other stories that they have heard or read. But most of all, it’s designed to instill in kids a love of story, which translates in later years to a love of reading!!

SPI also includes hyperlinks to related sites and in-class, standards-aligned projects developed by Story Preservation Initiative to further immerse students in, what is for many, a new and wonderful world of language.

 

Story Preservation’s K-3 Storytelling Learning Lab can be accessed by going to: http://www.storypreservation.org / click K-3 Learning Lab on the blue banner.  Like so (see below) …

This is a free resource, open to all. One time registration is required to set a username and passcode. To find out more, contact SPI at: info@storypreservation.net

Story Preservation Initiative is a 501c3 public charity. 

Support = ❤  (-:   To make a tax-free (as allowed by law!) donation, go to: https://storypreservation.wordpress.com/donate/

Honest to goodness, you’ll be glad you did.  

 

SPI’s new K-3 Storytelling Project.

 

For this project, SPI is working in collaboration with master storyteller, Odds Bodkin to bring his timeless fictional stories, including fairy tales, myths, and folklore into K-3 classrooms.

For more than 40 years, Odds has enchanted his listeners with tales of magic and make-believe, complete with character voices, sound effects, and music. The project is designed to foster social and emotional learning and English language literacy.

Odds is a heavy-hitter! He has been called “a consummate storyteller” by The New York Times for his shows at Lincoln Center. He has performed at the White House and has been a Featured Teller at the National Storytelling Festival. Museums, such as the Peabody-Essex Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Sackler Museum at Harvard, and the Portland Art Museum have hired him to tell stories about works in their collections. His recordings and books have won Parents’ Choice, Indie, Golden Headset, Storytelling World, Pick of the Lists, Editors’ Choice and Dove awards.

Click on link below to listen to Odds talk about the SPI Storytelling Project.

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SPI supplements Odds’ stories with recommended reading materials, hyperlinks to related sites, and projects developed by Story Preservation Initiative. This is all designed to help young people connect what they are hearing to universal concepts, their own life experience, different cultures and customs, and other stories that they have heard or read. But most of all, it’s designed to instill in kids a love of story, which translates in later years to a love of reading!

Following Odds’ telling of the classic African folktale, The Name of the Tree, students can engage in a class-wide mural making activity. This is just one of a host of hands-on, creative, collaborative projects in the K-3 Lab.

Storytelling and reading aloud to young children is the foundation for literacy development.  It is the single most important activity for later reading success.

More?  Go to:  www.storypreservation.org

SPI is a 501c3 public charity.  Consider making a tax-free donation (details on our website)  and / or supporting us on Amazon Smile (although we’d much prefer you shop locally and support small businesses!)   Donate = ❤  (-:

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This project was made possible with funding from the Frances R. Dewing Foundation, Port Townsend, WA.

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AUDIO UP! Ben Kilham – In the Company of Bears

Click on links below to listen to Ben’s story.

Ben Kilham is a bear biologist who, for decades, has “studied wild black bears in a vast tract of Northern New Hampshire woodlands. At times, he has also taken in orphaned infants–feeding them, walking them through the forest for months to help them decipher their natural world, and eventually reintroducing them back into the wild. Once free, the orphaned bears still regard him as their mother. One of these bears, now a near 20-year-old female, has given him extraordinary access to her daily life, opening a rare window into how she and the wild bears she lives among carry out their daily lives, raise their young, and communicate. Kilham’s unique findings now interest bear researchers worldwide.”

His dedication to black bears has made him such an expert that China asked for his help with the giant panda, a collaboration that inspired the recently released documentary “Pandas.”

Ben’s work with bears, however, is just part of his story. Ben is dyslexic, which, for years, kept him from pursuing an advanced degree. As a result, his work and rare insights into the social and emotional lives of bears went largely unpublished. With the support of wildlife preservationist George Schaller (whose story is also included in the Story Preservation 4-12 Learning Lab), Ben enrolled in a doctorate program at Drexel University where he completed his course of study and now holds a Ph.D in Environmental Science. In a review written about In the Company of Bears, Brock and Fernette Eide, authors of The Dyslexic Advantage write, “Kilham perfectly exemplifies how much the world has to gain from the exceptional insights of dyslexic individuals, who often possess a special talent for finding order hidden in the complex patterns of the real world.”

SPI recorded Ben’s story in late July 2019 with upload to SPI’s grades 4-12 Learning Lab later this fall.

 

For more, go to: www.storypreservation.org and please consider making a donation to Story Preservation Initiative.   Details can be found on our website.  Donate = ❤  (-:

 

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This recording and all accompanying materials, as uploaded to our Learning Lab site, were made possible with funding from the Dorr Foundation, Portsmouth, NH.

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Books are Meant to be Shared

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Story Preservation wishes to thank the family of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Maxine Kumin and long-time Kumin family friend Suzy Colt for gifting a large selection of Maxine’s books to our lending library.   

Included: 

  • And Short the Season, W.W. Norton, 2014 (paperback)
  • Still to Mow, W.W. Norton, 2007 (paperback)
  • Jack and Other New Poems,W.W. Norton, 2005
  • Bringing Together: Uncollected Early Poems 1958-1988, W.W. Norton, 2003 (paperback)
  • The Long Marriage, W.W. Norton, 2001
  • Connecting the Dots, W.W. Norton, 1996
  • Up Country, Harper & Row, 1972
  • The Nightmare Factory, Harper & Row, 1970 (paperback)
  • Lizzie! Seven Stories Press, 2014
  • Quit Monks or Die, Story Line Press, 1999 (paperback)
  • The Roots of Things, Northwestern Univ. Press, 2010 (paperback)
  • Always Beginning, Copper Canyon Press, 2000 (paperback)
  • Inside the Halo and Beyond,W.W. Norton, 1999
  • The Pawnbroker’s Daughter, A Memoir, W.W. Norton, 2015
  • Oh, Harry!, Roaring Brook Press, 2011
  • What Color is Caesar?,Candlewick Press, 2010
  • Mites to Mastadons, Houghton, Mifflin, 2006

Story Preservation maintains a small but growing library of books that complement our audio collection.  All are available on a lending-basis free of charge to teachers involved with the Story Preservation Initiative Learning Lab.

Getting by with a lot of help from our Friends

Story Preservation wishes to thank Morgan Blum Schneider the Director of Education at the Jewish Family and Children’s Services Holocaust Center in San Francisco for allowing us to use and share with Learning Lab partner schools the original lesson plan, which she developed, titled Surviving Hitler: A Love Story.  The lesson plan follows the story of Jutta and Helmuth Cords and their involvement with the plot to assassinate Hitler.  Jutta and Helmuth Cords daughter, Claudia Cords-Damon, shared her parents’ story with SPI.  As has been said on numerous occasions, the resulting recording “reads like a novel.”

To find out how your school can participate in the Story Preservation Learning Lab, go to: http://www.storypreservation.org, or contact us at info@storypreservation.net

The JFCS Holocaust Center is dedicated to the education, documentation, research, and remembrance of the Holocaust. The Holocaust Center is Northern California’s primary resource for Holocaust education, leading the effort to increase awareness among the general public about the causes and consequences of racism, anti-Semitism, intolerance, and indifference during the Holocaust and today.JFCS Holcoaust Center LOGO b&W.jpg

Donating = <3

Each Story Preservation recording takes, on average, 40 hours to produce. That includes research, writing, recording, editing, transcribing, more editing, tracking, mastering, and – finally – distribution to libraries and upload to our blog and Learning Lab sites.

And that’s just the fun stuff!

Thousands of hours more are spent working to sustain the organization.

If you find value in what we do, please consider making a tax-deductible donation – in any amount that suits your budget.  Click here to donate, because …

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Stories Matter

Find Out Why the SPI Learning Lab is Grabbing the Attention of Educators

 

 

Visit the Story Preservation Initiative Learning Lab by going to:  www.storypreservation.org.  Click Learning Lab.  Click Login and register for a 10-day trial.

Entry into the Learning Lab is a way to engage students through story and involve them in project-based lessons that pique curiosity and enrich the learning experience.

While SPI primary source stories affect us emotionally and intellectually, research shows that they also cause our brain to react biochemically, as we naturally seek a coherent narrative structure in the stories we hear and tell.

With the Learning Lab, teachers reach students on both an emotional and biochemical level, increasing the potential for rich, multidisciplinary learning experiences.

The Learning Lab is appropriate for grades K-12.

With Story Preservation audio as the engagement piece, student’s ‘attention spotlight’ is turned on and focused. Project-based lesson plans, often multi-disciplinary and designed for student-led inquiry, deepen the learning.

The projects found in the Learning Lab come from numerous sources. Projects designed and tested by Learning Lab teachers are uploaded to the site – all written in Understanding by Design format. Story Preservation also culls lesson plans from trusted third-party sources, with direct links to their sites. The Smithsonian, The Getty, PBS LearningMedia, the Center for Ecoliteracy, the Library of Congress, and many more can be accessed with just one click.

Info graphics, photographs, transcriptions, book recommendations, and related links of interest round out each Learning Lab page.

The Science Behind SPI’s Learning Lab

willis-neuroscience-behind-stress-learning-ts-460x345We find ourselves at the intersection of common sense and science.  SPI engages students through story and involves them in projects that are relevant to their lives.

From Edutopia: The realities of standardized tests and increasingly structured, if not synchronized, curriculum continue to build classroom stress levels. Neuroimaging research reveals the disturbances in the brain’s learning circuits and neurotransmitters that accompany stressful learning environments. The neuroscientific research about learning has revealed the negative impact of stress and anxiety and the qualitative improvement of the brain circuitry involved in memory and executive function that accompanies positive motivation and engagement.

The Proven Effects of Positive Motivation

Thankfully, this information has led to the development of brain-compatible strategies to help students through the bleak terrain created by some of the current trends imposed by the Common Core State Standards and similar mandates. With brain-based teaching strategies that reduce classroom anxiety and increase student connection to their lessons, educators can help students learn more effectively.

In the past two decades, neuroimaging and brain-mapping research have provided objective support to the student-centered educational model. This brain research demonstrates that superior learning takes place when classroom experiences are relevant to students’ lives, interests, and experiences. Lessons can be stimulating and challenging without being intimidating, and the increasing curriculum requirements can be achieved without stress, anxiety, boredom, and alienation as the pervasive emotions of the school day.

Stories Matter

Vermont Poet Laureate ⎥Chard deNiord

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WORDPRESS GLITCH!  If you aren’t seeing the audio bars and want to listen to Chard’s recording, click on the post title “Vermont Poet Laureate / Chard deNiord.”

 

We couldn’t be happier!  On November 2, 2015 Chard was named Poet Laureate of Vermont.

This is the fourth post in our series: Meet the Folks! A look at the people behind the scenes at Story.

Chard is a member of Story Preservation’s Board of Directors and a professor of creative writing at Providence College.  We had the good fortune to record Chard in 2013.  Audio from the session is embedded, below.

His books: Interstate (University of Pittsburg Press, 2015); The Double Truth (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), selected as one of the top ten books of poetry by the Boston Globe in 2011; Night Mowing (The University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005); Sharp Golden Thorn (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003); and Asleep in the Fire (University of Alabama Press,1990). His book of essays and interviews with seven senior American poets (Galway Kinnell, Ruth Stone, Lucille Clifton, Donald Hall, Robert Bly, Jack Gilbert, and Maxine Kumin) titled Sad Friends, Drowned Lovers, Stapled Songs, Conversations and Reflections on Twentieth Century American Poets was published in December of 2011 by Marick Press. He is also the co-founder of the New England College MFA Program in Poetry.

cftgntmuuaatxbnAbout Interstate, former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey writes: “Interstate seamlessly connects the state of knowing, in a worldly sense, to that knowing that is deeply felt yet unbodied. The precise attention to the ordinary things of the world, and in particular to the natural world, gives way to the wisdom of the spirit undergirding these searching poems. Reading them, I felt the delights of language in each new revelation: ‘Words were all; / they came to me like birds to a tree.’”

DeNiord earned a BA in religious studies from Lynchburg College, a Masters of Divinity from Yale Divinity School, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.  He lives in Putney, Vermont with his wife Liz.

Audio is a production of Story Preservation Initiative.  All rights reserved.  

Stories Matter