Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In   |   Join AFS
Folklore and Education Section


The Folklore and Education section produces an annual newsletter, awards the Dorothy Howard Folklore and Education Prize and the Robinson-Roeder-Ward Fellowship, works with partners in the field, and organizes sessions and events at the AFS annual meeting.

The Latest Edition of the Folklore and Education Section Newsletter is available online: Spring 2018 (pdf). (See below for the archive of newsletters dating from 2001.)

Click here to join this American Folklore Society interest-group section. 
Click here to pay section dues.


Jan Rosenberg, Senior Convener
Heritage Education Resources

Rebeca Smith, Junior Convener
Global Game Changers


Applications for both Folklore and Education Section Prizes- Dorothy Howard Award and Robinson, Roeder, Ward Fellowship are open for applications!


The AFS Folklore and Education section is pleased to announce that the application for the 2019 Robinson-Roeder-Ward prize to help support the participation of an educator at the AFS meeting in Baltimore, MD is now open. 

All materials must be uploaded by July 12, using this link. K-12 teachers, museum educators, and other community based teachers are eligible to apply. The prize will provide the recipient a stipend of $500 to participate in the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society and a free membership in the Folklore and Education Section for one year. If you have any questions about the application or eligibility, please contact Rebecca Smith at

Thank you!

Robinson-Roeder-Ward Prize committee, 

Lacey Cornell, Rosemary Hathaway, Maureen Porter, Lisa Rathje, Jan Rosenberg, and Rebecca Smith

Robinson-Roeder-Ward Prize

This prize is awarded in memory of folklorists Beverly Robinson, Bea Roeder, and Vaughn Ward. Each was a person of vision, scholarship, and activism, and they inspired a generation of folklorists working in K-12 education. The prize will be awarded to an educator who is engaged in folklore, ethnography, or cultural heritage and K-12 education. The prize will provide the recipient a stipend of $500 to participate in the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society and a free membership in the Folklore and Education Section for one year.

Beverly Robinson
 was known as a theater historian, folklorist, producer, writer, director and professor in the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Beverly received her MA in folklore from the University of California, Berkeley and her PhD in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. She was director of the African Studies Program at UCLA. A prolific writer, noted author, and contributor to several chapters in books and numerous articles, Beverly was also known for her research for such films as Miss Evers’ BoysNightjohn, and The Color Purple. As a scholar and innovator, Beverly brought folklore and folklife into the public eye. Beverly passed away in May 2002.

Bea Roeder
, a native Californian, became fascinated by Colorado’s rich folk heritage while working with Southwest Studies Folklore collections at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She returned to graduate school to pursue her newfound interest and received her PhD, focusing on Hispanic folk medicine, from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1984. Bea worked for the Colorado Council on the Arts as a regional folklorist and was a force behind the CCA/NEA project Ties that Bind, a multimedia kit about Colorado’s many folk traditions for school teachers. She was deeply involved with Native American culture and spirituality and a student of the Lakota language. Bea passed away in June 2003.

Vaughn Ward
, a folklorist and musician, was a founding member of Caffe Lena. Vaughn taught high school English where her students organized the first Niskayuna Festival. She was a staff folklorist for the Lower Adirondack Arts Council and organized the Adirondack Liar’s Club in 1986. She also founded the Black Crow Network to support tradition bearers and those with an interest in interpreting the history of the Mohawk-Champlain region and eastern Adirondacks. Vaughn passed away in December 2001.

To apply to the Robinson-Roeder-Ward Prize of the AFS Folklore and Education Section:

All materials must be uploaded by July 12, using this link  The application form online will ask each applicant for their answers to the following questions:

1.        Describe your background as a K-12 classroom teacher or educator in another setting. (one paragraph or one page resume)
2.       Share what AFS organized session you intend to join as a participant and how you plan to participate in the larger AFS conference. (Include if you will be presenting a paper, acting as a discussant, etc.)
3.       Outline how travel funds from the RRW prize will aid in participation. (It is helpful if you can also share information with the committee about the availability of other funding available to you to attend the conference and if you will plan on accessing these other funds.)
The RRW committee, made up of members of the Folklore and Education Section, will review the proposals and will contact the successful applicant by August 1, 2019. Questions regarding the application should be directed to Rebecca Smith at


The AFS Folklore and Education Section is calling for nominations for the 2019 Dorothy Howard Award.
The Dorothy Howard Prize honors Dorothy Howard, a pioneer who used folklore in educational settings in rich and meaningful ways, and those who have followed her in using folklore and education both within and outside the classroom. Read more about Howard here


The prize competition is open to individuals and organizations whose work effectively encourages educators or students to use the study of folklore and folkloristic approaches in all educational environments, including K-16 classrooms, after-school programming, museums, community agencies, etc. Such works include but are not limited to: curriculum materials, publications, audio and video recordings, multimedia publications, web sites, and exhibits. Submissions must reflect projects that have been implemented within the year prior to the application deadline. If your project is ongoing or part of a larger multi-year educational effort, please submit the portion of the project that is most current (i.e., implemented within the last year) for the committee’s consideration.

Nominations should:

  • Include the author(s) or creator(s), publisher, and date of use/publication, along with a short statement of the project.
  • Describe how the project significantly adds to the body of folklore and education literature and/or resources.
  • Specify the intended audience and appropriateness of the program for that age group and subject focus.
  • Describe how the project engages with the intended audience.
  • Specify how the project interfaces with and supports educational priorities, teaching practices, and student learning.
  • Include the project resource materials. If the project includes a print or hard-copy publication, please include three copies. If the project is a web resource or e-book, or includes audio/visual recordings available online, please include working links to all resources. In the case of particularly extensive materials (i.e. multimedia kits), a single copy may be submitted.

    The prize amount is $100 and the deadline for submissions is August 31. Submit materials to this Dropbox folder If sending hard copies of  nominated materials, please send 4 copies (one for each committee member) to:

    Anne Pryor
    5317 Lighthouse Bay Drive
    Madison, WI  53704

    Direct questions about nominations to Anne Pryor at


    The Folklore and Education Section is proud to announce the 2018 winners of both section prizes.

    Members of both committees were complimentary of the number of well-qualified submissions and nominations.

    Please join us in congratulating Ms. Lacey Cornell, of Kids Cook! Albuquerque as the winner of the Robinson-Roeder-Ward Fellowship for 2018. As an educator and nutrition coordinator for Kids Cook!, Ms. Cornell introduces the students in Albuquerque Public Schools to new cultures and healthy food by incorporating foodways and cultural diversity into her food and nutrition courses. She participated in the forum “No Illusions: Inclusive Curriculum Development and When the Perfect Plan Goes Wrong” on Thursday afternoon during the Annual Meeting in Buffalo, and is the junior convener for the Foodways Section. Ms. Cornell was honored during the Folklore and Education Section’s meeting Saturday afternoon, receiving $500 and free membership in the section for one year.

    The Robison-Roeder-Ward Fellowship committee consisted of Linda Deafenbaugh, Maureen Porter, Lisa Rathje, Jan Rosenberg, and Rebecca Smith. 

    The 2018 Dorothy Howard Prize for Folklore in Education honors the late Linda D’Acquisto and her work with artsHUBmke (pronounced “arts-hub-Milwaukee”) and the Kid Curators program. Kid Curators is a long-term, multi-dimensional project with three partners: Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee Public Schools, and the nonprofit Arts@Large. Working with these partners, the Kid Curators process begins as professional development for teachers that includes local teaching artists, then is incorporated into classrooms. Students then take the lead in researching, writing, designing, constructing, and presenting the exhibits to the public. The Leadership Team of Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture, who nominated Kid Curators, said this about the project:

    “The Kids Curators process supports educational priorities, teaching practices, and student learning through engaging learners in collaborative multifaceted projects. While students participate in meaningful work, teachers hone best practices in instructional methods. Creativity, responsibility, teamwork, and problem-solving are qualities inherent to the process. The school museum process meets contemporary teaching requirements by incorporating academic content standards; providing multiple forms of assessment of learning and understanding; requiring student-driven research, writing, and design; promoting partnerships between schools, home, and community; and using the end product of the museum as a teaching tool itself.”

    Congratulations to Kid Curators and artsHUBmke. Anne Pryor, nominator and member of Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture, accepted the Dorothy Howard Prize during the Folklore and Education Section meeting on Saturday afternoon at the AFS Annual Meeting.

    The Dorothy Howard Prize committee consisted of Betty Belanus, Nic Hartmann, Rebecca Smith, and Laurie Sommers.

    More information about the Dorothy Howard Prize can be found here.

    More information about the Robinson-Roeder-Ward Fellowship can be found here.

    Related Organizations

    Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education facilitates K-12 teachers' and teacher educators' use of folklore and folkloristic approaches in their classrooms through national advocacy, publications, teacher training, and extensive online resources. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts Folk and Traditional Arts Program, Local Learning is a national service organization for folk arts and folklife in education and publishes the annual Journal of Folklore and Education, a peer-reviewed multimedia K-16 digital publication. Download from the homepage. Paddy Bowman is the director, and Lisa Rathje is the assistant director.

    Join City Lore as an Education Member and receive the CARTS newsletter, City Lore mailings and discounts on events, a 10% discount on orders from the CARTS Catalog (featuring high-quality, authentic teaching resources for folklore, oral history, and the arts), and a free CD or cassette. Send $30 (check payable to City Lore) to City Lore, 72 East First Street, New York NY 10003 USA. For a free copy of the catalog, e-mail or phone 800/333-5982.


    Click here to explore resources that employ folklife and education. Some of these resources were created by Folklore and Education Section members. See also a section-created wiki Bibliography of Essential Texts for Folklore and Education.

    Click here to explore websites that employ folklife and education. Some of these sites were created by Folklore and Education Section members.

    Click here for help finding syllabi in the Teaching Resource Collection in OpenFolklore. Some of these syllabi were contributed by Folklore and Education Section members.


    Newsletter Archive

    Spring 2017 (pdf)
    Spring 2016 (pdf)
    Spring 2015 (pdf)
    Spring 2014 (pdf)
    Spring 2013 (pdf)
    Spring 2012 (read-only Word doc or pdf)
    Spring 2011 (read-only Word doc or pdf)
    Spring 2010
    Spring 2009
    Spring 2008
    Spring 2007
    Spring 2006
    Spring 2005
    Spring 2004
    Spring 2003
    Spring 2002
    Spring 2001

    Click here to join this American Folklore Society interest-group section.


    Career Center
    | Open Forums
    | Online Store
    | Renew
    | Member Search
    | Donate
    | FAQ

    American Folklore SocietySister Society: SIEF
    Classroom-Office Building, Indiana University, 800 East Third Street, Bloomington IN 47405 USA

    Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal