Artists in Schools Directory

   

Lyn Ford

Artist's Narrative

Lyn Ford Lynette (Lyn) Ford shares "Home-Fried Tales," adaptations of folktales "from many places and many faces," as well as her own original stories and personal narratives. Lyn's rhythmic, interactive storytelling style encourages language and literacy skills, creative writing, and an appreciation for the oral tradition among all types of learners. Lyn's storytelling is rooted in her family's multicultural Affrilachian oral traditions, and her own love of stories.

Lyn's work has been publicized on the PTO Today web site, and in Columbus Monthly and Columbus Parents magazines. Lyn has written for Storytelling Magazine, a national publication; her work is also included in story anthologies and resources for educators, including: the award winning The Storytelling Classroom: Applications Across the Curriculum and Literacy in the Storytelling Classroom (both from Libraries Unlimited); Sayin' Somethin': Stories from the National Association of Black Storytellers (National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc.); The August House Book of Scary Stories (August House), and its accompanying enrichment guide for teachers; the 2011 publication Storytelling and QAR Strategies (Libraries Unlimited). Lyn’s CD, When the Gourd Broke, won a 2009 NAPPA Honors Award.

Lyn is also a Thurber House mentor to young writers. In 2012, Lyn was among the first 30 teaching artists from across the country to participate in professional-development  sessions on the arts and Common Core standards at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Lyn's participation as an Ohio Teaching Artist in The Ohio State-Based Collaborative Initiative of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has provided additional opportunities for Lyn to share professional development workshops for educators and other mentors, in interactive sessions pertinent to benchmarks of academic content standards and diverse ways of learning.

In the summer of 2007, Lyn received an Oracle Award for Leadership and Service from the National Storytelling Network. Lyn received a 2008 Friend of Education Award from Reynoldsburg public schools, for her ongoing contribution of creative learning and enrichment experiences as Herbert Mills Elementary School's storyteller in residence. In 2012, Lyn was inducted into the National Association of Black Storytellers' Circle of Elders.  In 2013, Lyn received the National Storytelling Network's Circle of Excellence award, for her continuing efforts and achievements in storytelling.

For more than 20 years, Lyn has provided stories for public libraries' summer reading programs, keynote and closing presentations, and workshop at universities, education and literacy conferences, and storytelling conferences and festivals. Lyn has appeared at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, and presented workshops for the National Storytelling Conference. Lyn has also been a storyteller-in-residence at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough. Lyn was named the winner of the Liars' Contest (for tall tales, not lies!) at the 2005 National Association of Black Storytellers Conference and Festival; she has also shared stories at the TalkStory Festival in Hawaii, and at other national gatherings, including the St. Louis Storytelling Festival, the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival in Orem, Utah, the Eugene (Oregon) Multicultural Festival, the Northlands Storytelling Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, and the Cape Clear Storytelling Festival in Ireland.

Lyn's first publication as an individual author, 2012's Affrilachian Tales: Folktales from the African-American Appalachian Tradition, has received a 2013 Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Award, and a 2013 Storytelling World Resources Award.  The book is a compilation of stories from Lyn's childhood memories, enriched with information on Affrilachian culture, and published by Parkhurst Brothers, Inc.  Lyn’s second collection of Affrilachian folktales and family folkways, Beyond the Briar Patch:  Affrilachian Folktales, Food and Folklore, will be available from Parkhurst Brothers, Inc. through their website at www.parkhurstbrothers.com , Amazon.com, and other book merchants in late summer 2014.



Video
Lyn Ford performing at the UMSL St. Louis Storytelling Festival.

Can't access YouTube at your school? View the video on SchoolTube here.

Availability

Year-round, upon request. Please contact OAAE or Lyn as early as possible.

Programs Available

Let's Throw Stories! (A Gbae Se!) (Grade levels K-12)

Tales rooted in African and African American folktale traditions, shared with small percussive instruments, call and response, and lots of interaction. A study in diversity shared for your community of active listeners and learners.  One of Lyn's most popular programs!

Activity Options:
Let's Throw Stories!
  • Duration: 45-60 min. Full day may include multiple assemblies or combination of assemblies and workshops; special scheduling for your needs available.
  • Fees: $250/ $150 each addt'l, or $600 per day
  • Requirements: Large space for opening assemblies; microphone on stand or clip-on mike.

Now Let Me Fly (Grade levels K-6)

Stories and legends of hope, humor, and heart from the routes of the Underground Railroad.  Lyn shares lesser known tales, some from Ohio's history and the storytelling of her elders, that support classroom study of the era of the Underground Railroad.   

Activity Options:
Now Let Me Fly
  • Duration: 45-60 min. Full day may include multiple assemblies or combination of assemblies and workshops; special scheduling for your needs available.
  • Fees: $250/ $150 each addt'l, or $600 per day
  • Requirements: Large space for opening assemblies; microphone on stand or clip-on mike.

Rabbit Tales Retold (Grade levels K-6)

Lyn's adaptations of tales of the trickster-hero, known to some as Brother (B'rer) Rabbit.  These stories come from her family's multicultural Afrilachian oral traditions, and are shared with humor, history and audience participation. Approach Common Core State Standards in ELA/Social Studies benchmarks through the oral tradition.

Activity Options:
Rabbit Tales Retold
  • Duration: 30-60 min. Full day may include multiple assemblies or combination of assemblies and workshops; special scheduling for your needs available.
  • Fees: $250/ $150 each addt'l, or $600 per day
  • Requirements: Large space for opening assemblies; microphone on stand or clip-on mike.

Turtle Tales (Grade levels K-6)

Tales of the trickster-hero Turtle, and his kin, the tortoise, also known as the Nigerian trickster Ajapa.  A study in the journey and adaptation of story from Africa to the Americas, highlighted with participatory moments, songs and rhymes, and connections to the Common Core State Standards.

Activity Options:
Turtle Tales
  • Duration: 30-60 minutes. Full day may include multiple assemblies or combination of assemblies and workshops; special scheduling for your needs available
  • Fees: $250/ $150 each addt'l, or $600 per day
  • Requirements: Large space for opening assemblies; microphone on stand or clip-on microphone.

Tales of Earth, Sea, and Sky (Grade levels K-8)

This program covers "How and Why" folktales from diverse oral traditions. Stories include tales of the sun, moon, stars, rain, wind, storms, and animal characteristics - aspects of the world around us.  Such tales provide opportunities to introduce and approach Common Core State Standards through the oral tradition.  A pre-writing, writing, and/or oral communication component is available corresponding to each of Lyn's programs; see "From Talk to Text" listings.

Activity Options:
Tales of Earth, Sea, and Sky
  • Duration: 45-60 min. Full day may include multiple assemblies or combination of assemblies and workshops; special scheduling for your needs available.
  • Fees: $250/ $150 each addt'l, or $600 per day
  • Requirements: Large space for opening assemblies; microphone on stand or clip-on mike.

Spookers & Haints (Grade levels K-12)
Spooky folktales, "hand-me-down" stories, and original tales presented with an emphasis on the basic elements of story, and offered with your listeners in mind. Younger students (grades K - 3) hear silly stories in which the audience actively participates; older students hear thought-provoking stories geared toward their grade levels and listening skills.  A writing component is also available for grades 5-12; see "From Talk to Text" listings.  NOTE:  One of Lyn's stories from this program has been included in the August Book of Scary Stories.
Activity Options:
Spookers & Haints
  • Duration: 45-60 min. Full day may include multiple assemblies or combination of assemblies and workshops; special scheduling for your needs available.
  • Fees: $250/ $150 each addt'l, or $600 per day; residencies available
  • Requirements: Large space for opening assemblies; microphone on stand or clip-on mike.

From Aesop to Zora: Stew-Pot Stories from Around the World (Grade levels K-8)

A hodgepodge of tales from many cultures. Interactive versions of folktales, enhanced with rhythm and rhyme. This program will enhance your students' appreciation of cultural diversity and the oral tradition while reinforcing story-sharing skills and positive audience behaviors, achievements noted as benchmarks of the Common Core State Standards.

Activity Options:
From Aesop to Zora: Stew-Pot Stories from Around the World
  • Duration: 45-60 min. Full day may include multiple assemblies or combination of assemblies and workshops; special scheduling for your needs available.
  • Fees: $250/ $150 each addt'l, or $600 per day; residencies available
  • Requirements: Large space for opening assemblies; microphone on stand or clip-on mike.

From Talk to Text: Classroom Workshops (Grade levels K-12 )

Available as classroom visits, or as residencies of three days to two weeks:

From Talk to Text: Tortoise and Hare (grades K – 5) – a multicultural, interactive presentation of the basic elements of story, as well as resources for comparison of fables from several cultures.  Participants can share the story through spoken, literary, and/or visual presentations, depending upon skill levels.  Assemblies for these workshops and/or residencies include “Rabbit Tales Retold” and “Turtle Tales”.
 
From Talk to Text: Let’s Compare (Grades 3 – 12) – story variants from several cultures, offering different ways to experience familiar folktales: Cinderella in many versions; The Three Little Pigs from Europe to Affrilachia; The Tortoise and the Hare from Aesop to West Africa and beyond; Appalachian, Affrilachian, and European “Noodlehead” Stories, and others…session(s) can be adapted to your grade level’s need and your curriculum plans.  Assemblies for these workshops and/or residencies include “From Aesop to Zora: Stewpot Stories from Around the World”.
 
From Talk to Text: Tales of Earth, Sea, and Sky (Grades K - 5) - Pourquoi tales presented for various grade levels, as models for fiction-writing; interactive "Trip to the Moon" for grades K and 1.  Participants can share stories in spoken, literary, and/or visual arts presentations.  Assemblies for these workshops and/or residencies include “Tales of Earth, Sea, and Sky”.
 
From Talk to Text: Spookers & Haints (Grades 6 - 12) - Action, setting, characterization, plot, and theme, presented through story models from the oral tradition and story-writing exercises. Participants play with ideas, then work on their own stories.  Assemblies for these workshops and/or residencies include “Spookers & Haints”.
 
From Talk to Text: Story Rhythm, Story Rhyme, Story Fun, Story Time! (Grades pre-K - 4) - Pre-reading, pre-writing, and creative writing skills nurtured with interaction in choral response, call and response, and rhythmic activity; positive communication skills, positive audience behaviors, writing exercises, cultural diversity, and fun.

Activity Options:
From Talk to Text: Tales of Earth, Sea, and Sky
  • Duration: Full day includes (3) 60 min. workshops, plus (1) 60-min. assembly or (2) 30 min. assemblies.
  • Fees: $600 per day; 3-day, 5-day, and 10-day (two school weeks) residencies available (See “Storytelling Residencies”)
From Talk to Text: Spookers & Haints
  • Duration: Full day includes (3) 60 min. workshops, plus (1) 60-min. assembly or (2) 30 min. assemblies.
  • Fees: $600 per day; 3-day, 5-day, and 10-day (two school weeks) residencies available (See “Storytelling Residencies”)
From Talk to Text: From Here to Where?
  • Duration: Full day includes (3) 60 min. workshops, plus (1) 60-min. assembly or (2) 30 min. assemblies.
  • Fees: $600 per day; 3-day, 5-day, and 10-day (two school weeks) residencies available (See “Storytelling Residencies”)
From Talk to Text: Tortoise and Hare
  • Duration: Full day includes (3) 60 min. workshops, plus (1) 60-min. assembly or (2) 30 min. assemblies.
  • Fees: $600 per day; 3-day, 5-day, and 10-day (two school weeks) residencies available (See “Storytelling Residencies”)
From Talk to Text: Let’s Compare
  • Duration: Full day includes (3) 60 min. workshops, plus (1) 60-min. assembly or (2) 30 min. assemblies.
  • Fees: $600 per day; 3-day, 5-day, and 10-day (two school weeks) residencies available (See “Storytelling Residencies”)
From Talk to Text: Story Rhythm, Story Rhyme, Story Fun, Story Time!
  • Duration: Full day includes (3) 60 min. workshops, plus (1) 60-min. assembly or (2) 30 min. assemblies.
  • Fees: $600 per day; 3-day, 5-day, and 10-day (two school weeks) residencies available (See “Storytelling Residencies”)

Workshops for Mentors and Storytellers (Adult)

Sessions available for educators include:

  • Tell It!  Developing Language Arts Skills through Interactive Wordplay and Storytelling Experiences.
  • Heartworks: Storycrafts to Encourage Story-Sharing.
  • To Boo or Not to Boo:  Pre-Writing, Writing, and Oral Presentation Prompted by “Spooky” Storytelling (for educators and mentors of grades 6-12).

Participatory sessions for storytellers and mentors who wish to hone their storytelling skills include:  From the Beginning (for novice and “learning” storytellers), and The Next Step:  Goal-Setting for the Storyteller.

Activity Options:
Workshops for Mentors and Storytellers
  • Duration: negotiable
  • Fees: negotiable

Storytelling Residencies (Grade levels 1 - 12)

Assemblies, classroom visits, and exercises in story-sharing, facilitating the narrative process and reinforcing the understanding of the basic elements of "story" as shared in both the oral and literary traditions. Available with:

  • One or two days of assemblies (opening and closing days, if requested in that manner) for all participating grade levels and kindergarten students, and two to eight days of workshops in speaking and writing story, according to your scheduling requests, or
  • One or two assemblies per day, followed by a maximum of three workshop sessions.  See "From Talk to Text: Classroom Workshops for Students" and "Workshops for Mentors and Storytellers" for examples of details.
Activity Options:
Storytelling Residencies
  • Duration: 3 - 10 days (two school-day weeks, or 10 individual visits throughout the year [a special package!])
  • Fees: $1800 - $4000 (mileage and accommodations, if necessary, are negotiable)
  • Requirements: Large space for opening assemblies; microphone on stand or clip-on microphone; space or classroom for smaller sessions. Some activities require paper and pencils or pens, crayons and/or markers. Appropriate handouts and any other materials are provided by the storyteller as needed.