STORYTELLING ARTS INC

Rating: 4.83 stars   18 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Education

Location: PO Box 995 Princeton Junction NJ 08550 USA

Mission: Storytelling Arts' mission is to preserve, promote and impart the living art of storytelling to develop literacy, strengthen communities, and nurture the human spirit.
Results: Served over 23,000 children and over 60 long-term program sites since 1996.
Target demographics: Children and youth aged pre-K to adulthood. Programs are specifically effective at reaching those at risk due to learning disabilities, living below the poverty line or learning English as a second language.
Direct beneficiaries per year: over 195 educators develop storytelling skills for their classroom and worked with over 1,000 at-risk children and youth on developing literacy and communication skills
Geographic areas served: New Jersey
Programs: A sample of SAI projects include: Alexander Hamilton Academy - project designed to work with Pre-K, 4th, 5th and 6th grade students on literacy and communication skills as well as their teachers on Professional Development. Morris County Youth Facilities - Storytelling, discussion and writing with residents of the youth detention center and shelter. Boys and Girls Club of Hudson County - A program that will introduce concepts of character education in assemblies (motivational speaking sessions) for the entire population of the club including assemblies and workshops for children, staff and parents.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

As a volunteer I've helped with the practicalities around Storytelling Arts events of all types so worked alongside nearly everyone in the organization. To a person everyone I've met is dedicated to their mission. In the end it is the people that matter and everyone at Storytelling Arts gets that and is committed to getting through to the kids they ultimately serve.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Storytelling Arts provided 3 days of storytelling to our Kindergarten, grade 1 and grade 2 classes. The students were riveted, and enjoyed the hands-on experience.

These students are English Language Learners, and through this storytelling experience, they were able to listen and understand a story, and then present it to their classmates.

A perfect lesson!

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Rating: 4 stars  

I first learned about Storytelling Arts through friends about 8 years ago, and before long began helping to sponsor a number of their friend-raising and fundraising events. SAI's dedicated troupe of storytellers are remarkable performers who not only promote literacy among children of all backgrounds, but open the door to a wide world of cultures, traditions.... and timeless truths. Best of all, the programs introduce young people -- including many who are disadvantaged -- to powerful new ways of self-expression and learning that can have a lasting impact. SAI is not like any other non-profit I know; its work is exciting and special and I encourage others to learn more about its mission.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our school participated in a residency with Storytelling Arts. During that time, we had the benefit of professional storytellers for multiple classroom visits with specific classes of students. Students were introduced to the art of storytelling and as a result cultivated a deeper appreciation for literature. I was impressed by the improvement we noted in verbal and nonverbal skills as the students participated in carefully constructed story related activities. Also, the residencies were tailored to fit the curriculum standards and unique needs of the classroom of students.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I attended an event sponsored by Storytelling Arts. It was a great opportunity to learn more about this incredible organization and the student populations they serve. As I listened to the folk tales and myths told by their storytellers I began to realize how important such an opportunity is for our at-risk youth who will certainly be able to recognize stories from their own lives as they are engaged in listening and discussing with the storytellers. The programs of Storytelling Arts can be tied to poetry, reading, and creative writing. What a wonderful way to reach our youth and improve literacy!

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I was an affiliated artist with SAI from its inception until earlier this year when I resigned from the roster for family reasons. The storytellers are serious, dedicated and talented teaching artists who can reach sometimes "unreachable" students. The art of storytelling they bring to the front lines in our public schools and other venues lights up minds and hearts and clears the way for possibility.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've seen unreachable kids react to the storytellers brought into youth detention centers and special ed classrooms. SAI's programs are uniquely effective at boosting literacy, social skills, and self esteem in at-risk youth.

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Rating: 5 stars  

The professional storytellers of Storytelling Arts are teaching artists who bring to life of one of the most basic forms of human communication – storytelling. As an educational leader in an urban school district, I was thrilled to have Storytelling Arts (SAI) bring stories and the power of storytelling to the children in our classrooms as well as to the teachers and paraprofessionals. Through staff development workshops our educators honed skills as storytellers and also became more cognizant of benefits of using storytelling as a teaching tool. As a result of ongoing SAI residencies, the children demonstrated improvements in critical thinking skills (through discussion and analysis of stories presented), verbal and nonverbal skills (through storyteller modeling and student participation in group discussions) and enhanced listening skills. They also had opportunities to expand their awareness of other cultures and examine problem-solving skills for conflict resolution (through listening and responding to the stories).

Storytelling Arts has continued to bring uniquely tailored experiences to youth across New Jersey by providing services that have assisted improvements in literacy for at-risk children in over 60 schools, community organizations, juvenile detention centers and youth shelters. The women and men who are storytellers for Storytelling Arts are masters at engaging the listeners and using the stories as transformative educational tools.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've been on the board about a year and a half, and I have come to really appreciate and admire the resolve and commitment of the board, as well as the talent and dedication of our storytellers, to deliver impactful and transformative experiences in improving literacy and effective communication skills. This past summer, I observed one of our experienced storytellers working with 5-to-6-year-old children of mixed genders during a summer camp program in West Windsor, NJ. She effectively led the group, responding to a variety of different levels of attention and engagement. Her planned program was also well thought out to encourage participation -- not just passive listening to stories, but active engagement in sharing their feelings, stimulating their imagination, and encouraging them to contribute to the overall experience of the session. She always made sure that even the most shy in the group had an opportunity to participate. I am very proud of our organization and look forward to its continued growth and success!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Search for ways to spread the word about all the great programs we sponsors and get more people interested and involved.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was able to experience some of what the professionals of Storytelling Arts can do in action during their "Girl Power" time at the Bridge To The Arts summer camp where I was also a counselor. Under the direction of two master storytellers and teaching artists, the GIRL POWER campers brought stories to life through visual art, photography, and poetry writing. "Girl Power" provided girls ages 11 - 13 with the ability to shine as storytellers, while developing confidence and creativity. The campers came away with more confidence in their abilities to not only tell stories, but also interact with others in general.

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