South Dartmouth, MA, United States
The Story Train Literacy Co., Inc.
Wonder. Learn. Grow.
FREETOWN and LAKEVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Office of the Superintendent of Schools
43 Bullock Road
East Freetown, MA 02717
Some time ago Ms. Robertson asked me to serve as an invited guest to introduce her television production of "The Story Train". While I had never been involved in this type of activity in the past, I agreed to participate.
A few weeks ago, I served to introduce one of our second grade classes. The children in this class wrote and illustrated stories related to the topic of using their imaginations. It was obvious that these children received a great deal of personal satisfaction and enjoyment from this activity. I found the experience to be of great value to the children. Not only did they prepare a written and illustrated piece of work, but they also had an opportunity to read their stories to all via the local cable network which afforded each child an opportunity to listen to each others work. In addition, the children visited the local cable television studio where they had an opportunity on a first hand basis to observe a television studio in operation.
There is no question but Ms. Robertson's "The Story Train" program has tremendous educational value. Using the television medium Ms. Robertson makes use of all aspects of written and oral language; reading, writing, listening and speaking. I believe Ms. Robertson's program is highly beneficial. I welcome this type of educational innovation and I have encouraged Ms. Robertson in her efforts to seek funding. In my opinion, Ms. Robertson has a unique idea that provides an excellent opportunity for children to learn. I recommend her and The Story Train program without reservation. This program is an exciting adjunct to any school district's language arts program.
Please contact me if you wish additional information relative to this program. I will be most pleased to speak positively on the impact of
The Story Train program on a school's educational program.
Dennis D. Flynn, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
P.O. Box 81826
Lincoln, NE 68501
Dear Ms. Robertson,
Your program is very interesting. It sounds like an innovative way to make writing interesting and exciting to children.
We publish a national literacy newsletter that reaches approximately 1,000 subscribers on a monthly basis. We invite you to consider submitting an article about your program. I think your efforts could provide valuable information to share with our readers.
Lisa Olivigni Maddox
Dear Ms. Robertson,
Thank you for sending us your Story Train materials. It's a terrific thing that you've created; not only are you encouraging kids to write, but you've given them---- via the web site and cable show-- a place to showcase their work. It was just wonderful watching your kids read their stories and take questions from the audience! Those are the kinds of experiences that can really enhance a child's success in school.
Please accept our congratulations for the wonderful program you've instituted.
Kathy Waugh, WGBH
Senior Editor/Project Director
MIDDLEBOROUGH PUBLIC SCHOOLS
MIDDLEBOROUGH, MA 02346
Dear Ms. Robertson:
Thank you for the opportunity to appear on the cable program The Story Train. It is always an enjoyable experience to be with young students and share their very candid responses. The Story Train is a perfect setting for primary age students to become involved in the fantasies of their great imaginations.
The ease with which you interacted with the unpredictability of this age group makes The Story Train an interesting and watchable program for a broad based audience. In my brief experience with this activity, I was impressed with how much can be accomplished with very little resources. Television is a magic medium which allows simplicity to be transformed in a major production. Your masterful organization and on air management creates this transformation for The Story Train!
Also, the number of people who tune into each showing underscores both the educational and entertainment value of this program. The evidence of the audience watching The Story Train is supported by the many compliments I received after my appearance on the sow. Students, parents, and members of the general public were most gracious in comments to me.
You should be proud of the popularity of The Story Train in our viewing area. It is an experience that teachers and students look forward to as participants and as viewers. Thank you for making this activity a reality for Middleborough and our schools.
Michael S. Ippolito, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
ASSAWOMPSET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
232 MAIN STREET
LAKEVILLE, MA 02347
I am writing in support of the efforts of Sharen Robertson, creator of "The Story Train," a local cable company production. The production involves the creation of stories by elementary children in Middleboro and Lakeville, MA. Ms. Robertson makes arrangements months in advance with a teacher and a class of children. She visits the school, explains what she is seeking. (Essentially, she is seeking to develop the creativity and imagination of the children by encouraging them to write original stories.) When the stories are written, she returns to school and works with the selected class to prepare them to present the stories to the public. She then provides the opportunity for the children to read their original stories on local access television.
The entire class of children, their teacher, and parent volunteers are bused to the cable company offices and studio. An adult guest speaker makes a brief presentation. This guest may be a reading coordinator, language pathologist, principal, or superintendent, etc. Afterward, children are selected to read their stories and children in the audience are allowed to pose questions.
The efforts of Ms. Robertson have been met with much success. Both participants - children and adults--enjoy their participation. Very favorable community response has been noted. It seems that everyone watches the show. Not only is this an outstanding educational experience for the children - providing motivation for releasing their creativity - but it is also wonderful public relations.
The format of the program seems to be rather universal. It should work well anywhere where children are learning and a television outlet is available. Efforts such as this need our support, both personal and financial. I endorse her efforts and encourage such a worthwhile project. Once in a while some motivational idea is developed which needs to be nurtured. "The Story Train" is such an idea. I support Ms. Robertson's efforts and commend her to you.
Thomas J. Venice
25 Elm Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Congratulations on being the recipient of the Standard-Times literacy award. The Story Train is a creative program with clear benefits to the students. I am sure that the students in New Bedford who participate will be positively impacted in therms of their joy of writing and their gain in self-esteem.
I have made an initial contact with the magnet school coordinator at Carney Academy in New Bedford. Enclosed is your check for $500.00. The Standard-Times is delighted to assist your efforts in bringing The Story Train to New Bedford.
Best wishes, Sharen.
Educational Services Coordinator