Beauty and the Beast Storytellers have a not-for-profit sponsor called "Tandem Productions" that enables them to write grants to foundations and solicit funding from a variety of sources. This has allowed them to lead a storytelling project for almost thirty years in their hometown district, Ithaca, NY. Click here to read articles that describe the project.
Donations range from the $25 "Story" category to the $250 "Whopper" and $5,000 "Fairy Godmother." If you would like to contribute, print out the Donation Form and send your tax-exempt donation to "Tandem Productions" at the following address:
137 Northview Road
Ithaca, New York 14850
Sample Thank-You Letters from Student Tellers and Parent Comments
These letters were written by third graders in Ithaca, New York to thank individuals, businesses. and foundations that supported Beauty & the Beast's storytelling project. Parent Comments were written after attending an evening event where their children told stories for their classmates and family members.
Click on any thank-you to make it bigger.
Marty Kaminsky, president of the Tandem Productions Board wrote the following letter asking for community support:
I am writing on behalf of the Board of Tandem Productions, the not-for-profit sponsor of Beauty and the Beast Storytellers, to ask for your help in supporting the highly acclaimed storytelling project. The project, led by Mitch Weiss and Martha Hamilton, began at Enfield School in 1986. It focuses on teaching third graders to become storytellers. Students choose world folktales and bring them to life in their own words. They tell their stories for classmates, in other classrooms, at an evening event for families, and at the Ithaca Festival. Having recently retired after teaching for thirty years in Ithaca, I have seen the profound effects of this program on our children. Although it may be difficult to measure the effects of storytelling on a fill-in-the-bubble test, anyone who witnesses children telling stories immediately sees its educational value. One parent wrote:
"This is the third time that a child of ours has participated in the storytelling project. While they possess distinctly different personalities, the program complimented all three--which demonstrates the depth and quality of the program and its approach. I absolutely love that every child comes out of it being a successful storyteller--children who are outgoing, children who are shy, children who speak very little English, children with disabilities, and all the children in between--come out of this project with the ability to tell a story with gestures, expression and enthusiasm. Mitch and Martha are just wonderful, and they obviously enjoy their work a lot. They are adored by the kids, who love to imitate them, even years after the program. This is one of the best programs I have ever seen. I hope to see it continue and wish that every child could have this fun-filled and confidence-building educational experience."
Teachers are equally enthusiastic. One wrote on an evaluation:
"I believe so strongly in the importance of this project! Years ago I watched my own daughters and now, after switching grade levels, I've seen my third grade students blossom in so many ways from this experience. Students have a chance not only to learn about themselves by overcoming fears, finding inner resources and strengths, and discovering hidden talents -- but also about each other. They have the opportunity to see a shy, quiet classmate tell a fabulous story and to see classmates who struggle with other academic work really shine. Storytelling gives everyone a chance to see and appreciate some of the not so obvious ways we all have something to offer."
Mitch and Martha are nationally renowned storytellers and authors of numerous award-winning books. Their Children Tell Stories: Teaching and Using Storytelling in the Classroom, is considered the classic book on teaching storytelling skills. They have traveled the world sharing their passion for storytelling and we are indeed fortunate that they make their home in Ithaca. Ever since ICSD funds for the project were cut in 2003, Mitch and Martha have undertaken the daunting task of raising half of the funds, and asking individual schools to pay half. Funding from the Triad Foundation and the Vector Magnetics Fund, along with smaller amounts from other local foundations, organizations, and folks like you, is the reason the storytelling project will continue for the `12-`13 school year at Belle Sherman, Caroline, Northeast, Fall Creek, and Cayuga Heights Schools.
For more information on Mitch and Martha's work, see www.beautyandthebeaststorytellers.com. If you would like to attend a family storytelling night or if you have questions regarding the project, contact Mitch and Martha.
Your tax-deductible contribution to help fund this project would be greatly appreciated. We would be glad to send you a receipt for tax purposes. Thank you very much for considering this request.
President, Board of Tandem Productions
Mitch and Martha are extremely grateful to the Triad Foundation and the Vector Magnetics Fund, without which this project would not have continued in Ithaca, and all of the following donors:
Fairy Godmother: $5,000 or more
Epic: $2,500 or more
Legend $1,000 or more
Saga: $500 or more
BorgWarner Morse TEC, The Philanthropy Committee
Jeff & Robin Henig
Sandy & Jay True
Whopper: $250 or moreOlan & Katie Forker
Tall Tale: $100 or more
Peter & Beth Brennan
Joan & David Brumberg
Byrnes Family Fund
Timothy & Mary Ann Colbert
David Evelyn & Jennifer Weinraub
Paul Farhi & Vivian Young
Howard Feinstein, MD
Tessa Sage Flores & Ira Goldstein
Mary & Brad Grainger
David Shmoys & Eva Tardos
Nancy & Mark Sorrells
Stephen & Amy Yale-Loehr
Myth: $50 or more
Paula & Mark Eisner
Martha Frommelt & David Feldshuh
Terry & Randy Marcus
Jim Rothenberg & Mariana Wolfner
Paula Winner & J. Edward Russo
Jeffrey & Suzanne Snedeker
Story: $25 or more
Paula & Mark Eisner
Diane Feldman & Ileen Devault
Deidre & George Hay
Rosemarie Parker & Sol Gruner
Esther Racoosin & Eric Alani
Don & Sue Rakow
Mark & Ingrid Zabel