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, her research and interest in heritage and folklore, 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, Literacy in the Storytelling Classroom (both from Libraries Unlimited), and Social Studies in the Storytelling Classroom (Parkhurst Brothers, Inc.); 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, and 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 State 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. Lyn makes connections between the oral tradition and core reading and writing skills, in conjunction with the 21st Century Learning Skills:
Collaboration and teamwork
Creativity and imagination
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. In 2016, Lyn was recognized by the National Storytelling Network'Â™s Youth, Educators and Storytellers Alliance (YES) for her past work as co-chairperson, advisor, and special projects chairperson.
For more than 20 years, Lyn has provided stories for public libraries' summer reading programs, keynote and closing presentations, and workshops 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. In 2016, Lyn was both a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator for the Transformative Language Arts Network's (Goddard College) Power of Words Conference in Maine.
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'Â™s second collection of Affrilachian folktales and family folkways, Beyond the Briar Patch: Affrilachian Folktales, Food and Folklore, received the 2015 Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Award. Both books, as well as Lyn's collection of original, creepy twists on folk and fairytales, Hot Wind, Boiling Rain (which includes variants, resources, and creative writing exercises for older students and adults) are available from Parkhurst Brothers, Inc. through their website at www.parkhurstbrothers.com, Amazon.com, and other book merchants. Lyn happily awaits the 2016 publication of a book co-authored with friend and fellow storyteller/teaching artist Sherry Norfolk: Boo-Tickle Tales: Not-So-Scary Stories for Ages 4-9, by Parkhurst Brothers. Lyn and Sherry are also working on two books; the first is a collection of tips, essays, and story activities for storytelling with special needs students, and the second is a resource for peace-workers.
Recent Feedback From Schools
Lyn's stories were captivating. As students filed into the
gym for the performance Lyn immediately made contact with those students
waiting for others to be seated. The children listened intently waiting to hear
what would happen in the story as well as picking up the cue for them to
respond. Her performance was very creative as she used many facial expressions
as well as many different voices and sounds. Our school is literature based
where reading is emphasized and a storyteller fit right in with our curriculum.
Lyn's study guide had a section on how her performance fit in with the goals of
the Common Core.
Lyn Ford performing at the UMSL St. Louis Storytelling Festival.
Can't access YouTube at your school? View the video on SchoolTube here.
Upon request. Due to a heavy travel schedule, the artist requests you book as early as possible.
This artist is based in Columbus. Travel charges may apply for schools outside of the area.
The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education is located in the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts, 77 S. High Street, 2nd Fl., Columbus, OH 43215-6108 tel: 614.224.1060 email:
All Riffe Center visitors must provide photo ID. Backpacks are not permitted in the building.