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Dorothy Howard Folklore and Education Prize

Dorothy Howard (1902-1996) grew up in the Progressive Era, receiving a teaching degree from the North Texas Normal College (now the University of North Texas) in 1923. During her career as a teacher and principal in Texas, New York, and New Jersey, Howard integrated folklore into her curriculum by having students collect and study playground chants and jingles as a way of introducing them to poetry; research their names and their meanings to study spelling; and write about such traditions as ravioli making to develop their writing skills. Howard’s interest in children’s folklore and education enabled her to bridge a gap between the Victorian “armchair” approach to the study of children’s culture with the field-based studies that folklorists conduct today. In 1938 she received her doctorate in education with a study of games that combined these two styles of study. Her pioneering work inspires us to use folklore in educational settings in a way that is rich and meaningful. Awarded by the Folklore and Education Section, the Dorothy Howard Prize honors Howard and those who have followed her lead in folklore and education, both within and outside the classroom.

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. All applications must be completed using AFS’ Prize Submission Form. Submissions must reflect projects that have been implemented within the past two years 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 is September 20, 2021. 

Past Dorothy Howard Prize Recipients: 

2000: Louisiana Voices online repository for curriculum developed by Maida Owens and Paddy Bowman. 

2001: Oregon Folklife Program for the student magazine Traditional Arts of the Oregon Country (1999) by Laura Marcus and five instructional units posted on the posted on the Support for Teachers in Art section of the Oregon Public Educators Network website (2000), compiled by Leila Childs.

2002: Kristin Congdon, Uncle Monday and Other Florida Tales and the Smithsonian Institute’s multimedia package “Discovering our Delta.”

2003: “The Florida Music Train” multimedia kit written and developed by Laurie Sommers and produced by the Florida Folklife Program’s Bureau of Historic Preservation and the Florida Folklore Society.

2004: The Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Culture for “The Hmong Cultural Tour,” an online resource at http://csumc.wisc.edu/cmct/HmongTour.

2005: Spurrin’ the Words: 4H Cowboy Poetry Project, submitted by Kirk A. Astroth, Director of the Montana 4-H Center for Youth Development, Montana State University and “Wisconsin Weather Stories,” a collaboration between the Wisconsin Arts Board and two divisions of the University of Wisconsin: the cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies and the Folklore Program.

2006: “Iowa Folklife: Our People, Communities, and Traditions” online resource from the Iowa Arts Council, spearheaded by Riki Saltzman.

2007:  “Quilting Circles, Learning Communities” submitted by Anne Pryor.

2008: Folkstreams online video library.

2009: The Michigan Traditional Arts Foundation for the revised version of its folk arts in education “Orange Book,” available online and in CD.

2010: “Iowa Folklife, Volume 2”  from the Iowa Arts Council and the Library of Congress’ “Folklife Resources for Educators.”

2011:”Show Me Traditions: An Educator’s Guide to Teaching Folk Arts and Folklife in Missouri Schools,” written and developed by Susan Eleuterio in collaboration with staff and master artists of the Missouri Folk Arts Program.

2012: Through the Schoolhouse Door:Folklore, Community, Curriculum, edited by Paddy Bowman and Lynne Hamer (Utah State University Press), and “Here at Home Cultural Tours”, a project of Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture.

2013: Pass It On: Cultural Traditions of the Lower Eastern Shore, A K–12 Curriculum and Activity Guide,by the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art of Salisbury University, and Everyday Music, by Alan Govenar(Documentary Arts, Inc.), with the Everyday Music Education Guide, by Paddy Bowman (Local Learning).

2014: Nebraska Folklife Network for the educational trunk and curriculum entitled “Home in the Heartland: Nebraska’s Sudanese Cultures.”

2015: Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School and the Philadelphia Folklore Project for the folk arts education curriculum entitled “A Teachers’ Guide to a Whole-School Folk Arts Residency: Tibetan Sand Mandala Artist Losang Samten.”

2016: “Teacher Resources Using Alan Lomax’s 1938 Field Recordings from Michigan and Wisconsin”, by Laurie Summers

2017:  Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School in Philadelphia for its Yoga and Folk Tales project, developed by Daisy Ling and Nisha Arya.

2018: “Kid Curators” project from Arts Hub M’ke and Arts @ Large in memory of Linda D’Acquisto. Submitted by Anne Pryor and the Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture.

2019: Sound Ideas, an after-school artist residency program conducted in Philadelphia by Neighborhood Engagement at the University of the Arts (NEUARTS) built on children’s rhythmic play that was rich in tradition yet banned in school and The Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic, an online program in traditional folk narratives that shows an innovative entrepreneurial effort–a folk school for the digital age that brings scholarly rigor to the often non-rigorous field of fantasy literature.

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