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Programming for
children with special needs


Sherry works extensively in self-contained special needs classrooms as well as inclusive classrooms, and has presented workshops and webinars for VSA-Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on the use of storytelling with diverse learners as well as leading workshops on storytelling strategies for inclusive classrooms for the Kennedy Center’s CETA program. In addition to Storytelling Strategies for Reaching and Teaching Children with Special Needs, she has co-authored four books on using storytelling in the classroom: The Storytelling Classroom: Applications across the Curriculum (Libraries Unlimited, 2006), Literacy Development in the Storytelling Classroom (Libraries Unlimited, 2009), Social Studies in the Storytelling Classroom (Parkhurst Bros., 2012), Science with Storytelling: Strategies for the K-5 Classroom (McFarland, 2016), and is an Adjunct Professor at Lesley University. Sherry is a recognized leader in integrating learning through storytelling.


Sherry’s experience as a teaching artist and consultant on storytelling for children with special needs At-a-Glance:

  • Presenter: professional development workshops for the CETA Professional Learning Series at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: “Diverse Learners: Storytelling across the Curriculum.”

  • Presenter: Workshop at the 2014 & 2017 Kennedy Center-VSA Intersections Conference, “Leveling the Playing Field: Storytelling in the Special Needs Classroom,” “They hate to write!”

  • Presenter: 2015 Kennedy Center-VSA webinar, “Teach Them to Fly: How Storytelling Gives Primary-age Children with Special Needs Their Wings.”

  • Presenter: “Sensory Storytimes: Inclusive Strategies for Reaching All Children,” NEFLIN, SWFLN, Utah State Library, St. Louis Public Library, State Louis
    County Library, University City Public Library, Daniel Boone Regional Library, Kansas City (MO) Public Library, NWKLS, SEKLS.

  • Co-author: Storytelling Strategies for Reaching and Teaching Children with Special Needs. (Libraries Unlimited, December 2017); Article for Kennedy Center-VSA Newsletter: “Seven Tips for Using Storytelling to Engage Students with Disabilities.”

  • Trainer: Two professional development workshops for SPED teachers and teaching artists for the Mississippi Arts Commission: “Arts Integration in the Special Needs Classroom.”

  • Trainer: Singapore National Library: “Programming for Children with Special Needs.”

  • Trainer: Atlanta-Fulton (GA) Public Library: “Programming for Children with Special Needs.”

  • Trainer: Anchorage (AK) Municipal Library: “Sensory Storytimes.”

  • Teaching Artist:  VSA-Kennedy Center 2015-2020 contracted residencies through Springboard-St. Louis, in self-contained classrooms in the Special School District of St. Louis County; Tennessee-VSA residency for high school students with special needs, and dozens of residencies and student workshops in inclusive elementary and middle school classrooms in Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut and Mississippi.

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