the living art of storytelling in Massachusetts

“storyteller who writes,” at RIC Diversity Week

Author Norah Dooley listens as ESL Teacher Jackie Sisun discusses how she uses 'Everybody Bakes Bread' in the classroom.

On Oct. 9, four MEd in TESL (teaching English as a second language) cooperating teachers attended a private book signing and discussion with Norah Dooley, famed New England author of “Everybody Bakes Bread” and “Everybody Cooks Rice.” The four were from the Pawtucket School District.

Karen Hammarstram, ESL coach, Leslie Pettingell of Potter-Burns School, Jackie Sisun of Henry J. Winters School, and Carol Hoppe of Elizabeth Baldwin School engaged in a lively dialogue with Dooley about their use of her stories in class as well as the incorporation of the books in their social studies content area and their connection to language and content objectives.

Dooley, a self proclaimed “storyteller who writes,” also told of the sources of inspiration for her work, her struggles and triumphs in writing and publishing, and the challenges she experienced as a teacher in a charter school.
The reception concluded with a book signing of the candidates’ favorite Dooley titles for their personal and school collections.

The book signing and discussion followed an all-morning Diversity Week event at the Henry Barnard School coordinated by the Unity Center, HBS Diversity Committee and the Feinstein School Office of Special Projects. Students in K-6 along with the cooperating teachers listened to Dooley’s energetic and informative talk about the writing process, participated in a read aloud, engaged in questions and answers and then selected homemade and donated breads from HBS parents and LaSalle and Colonial Bakeries.

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Grand Prize for South Shore Grand Slam Story Slam generously donated by Nicolette Heavey and Stories In The Streets (A Maine Get Away)

Stories in the Streets in an outreach literacy program that focuses on families in at-risk areas and fosters community engagement in storytelling by: 1) Creating opportunities for public storytelling wherever families gather — a farmer’s market, laundromat, or food line; and, 2) Offering storytelling workshops that raise family engagement in literacy, cultural awareness and community understanding.  The program is currently active in Lawrence, Brockton and Randolph.


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