About Jane

"From an organizer's point of view, Jane is a joy to work with – fun, bright, creative, flexible, energetic, dependable, and the list goes on and on ... the children love her.


As a lending library created by retired librarians following the closure of our neighborhood library, we at The Mighty Twig are a community center that serves an incredibly diverse area. Recognition of shifting variables and the ability to adapt programming to best serve those differences is vital to our programming; patrons range from wealthy to homeless, athletic to profoundly disabled. Jane has the flexibility to change direction quickly combined with good humor and sensitivity needed to keep children of all ages engaged ... She has a knack for reeling in those around her and capturing their attention, and engaging them through words, gestures, song and even the occasional dance. Her experience as an elementary school teacher is also evident, in that she makes each child feel special. Jane has taken novice storytellers under her wing, sharing bits of humor and wisdom; her coaching is subtle and effective. As a result The Mighty Twig now has several folks interested in becoming better storytellers!"


--Cheryl Chamberlain, Event Organizer at The Mighty Twig, Evanston, IL


Jane co-authored and co-edited five books on the relationship between storytelling and education.


  • Engaging Community through Storytelling (Libraries Unlimited, 2017) promotes the idea that storytelling builds bridges of understanding within the human psyche and between human beings. The book includes storytelling projects that support their communities as well as projects that create communities through storytelling nationally and internationally.

  • Science with Storytelling: Strategies for the K - 5 Classroom (McFarland, 2017) synthesizes the values of the old tales with the educational demands for STEM topics. "The pendulum has swung toward innovation and technologies that support what is new and toward active learning where students’ natural curiosity allows them to pursue and construct scientific understanding through their experiences…..Yet is it the old stories, told orally, that contain the wisdom of a culture, and the relational told stories have always been the most powerful means of relating new technologies and humane values.”

  • Social Studies in the Storytelling Classroom: Our Cultural Voices and Perspectives is published by Parkhurst Brothers Publishers and takes a hard look at the intersection of storytelling and social studies in today's schools.

  • Award-winners Literacy Development in the Storytelling Classroom (2009) and The Storytelling Classroom: Applications across the Curriculum (2006) are published by Libraries Unlimited. All of these books contain articles and applications by storytellers and teachers that bring school curriculum and skills alive for children...through storytelling.


Jane has received the 2016 National Storytelling Network's Distinguished National Service Award


As YES! co-chair (that's the Youth, Educators and Storytellers Alliance) a special interest group of the National Storytelling Network, Jane helped craft the YES! member benefit STORYTELLING AND THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS. The booklet is meant to help tellers who work in schools as well as teachers explore the ability of the standards and storytelling to create meaningful language arts and social studies activities for children.



Jane has Performed at:

  • Timpanogos StoryWorks Conference, Utah

  • Hubbard Woods School, Winnetka. IL

  • Baker Demonstration School, Wilmette, IL

  • The Wingra School, Madison, WI

  • Francis Parker School, Chicago, IL (PEN)

  • Valley View School, Green Bay, WI

  • Cormier School, Green Bay, WI

  • Dawes School, Evanston, IL

  • Dewey School, Evanston, IL

  • Walker School, Evanston, IL

  • Washington School, Evanston, IL

  • Central School, Wilmette, IL

  • The Children's School, Berwyn, IL

  • James Hart School, Homewood, IL
  • Chicago Botanic Garden

  • Peggy Notebaert Museum, Chicago, IL

  • Kohl Children's Museum, Chicago, IL

  • Chicago Children's Museum

  • The Might Twig, Evanston, IL

  • The Celtic Knot, Evanston, IL

  • Stage Left, Woodstock, IL

  • Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

  • University of San Diego, CA

  • Belleville Festival of Stories, Belleville, IL

  • Illinois Storytelling Festival, Spring Grove, IL and Dominican University

  • St. Louis Festival, St. Louis, MO

  • JustStories Online Festival

  • Progressive Education Network Conference, Madison, WI

  • National Progressive Education Network Conference, Chicago, IL

  • National Storytelling Festival, Jonesborough, TN (with the Youth, Educators, and Storytellers initiative)

  • National Storytelling Network Conferences – workshops, fringe, taught Master Class in education

  • Northlands Storytelling Network Conferences – workshops, fringe, concerts

  • National Louis University, Wilmette, IL

  • Kraft Foods