Nina Jaffe is a children’s book author, storyteller and bilingual special educator (Spanish/English) whose work in schools and community-based organizations is rooted in her experiences growing up in New York City attending public elementary and middle schools; The High School of Music & Art and completing undergraduate studies in World Music at Wesleyan University. Early in her career, Nina developed inclusive storytelling programs in District 4 (East Harlem) and continued as an artist-in residence in public and independent schools while completing graduate studies in Bilingual Special Education at Bank Street. Working as a classroom teacher (1st-5th) provided opportunities for incorporating oral traditions into curriculum, literacy and building home-school partnerships with a guiding principle of cultural and linguistic equity as the basis for authentic, meaningful learning: “Reconnecting to sources that nourish multiple perspectives and inclusive, culturally aware pedagogy is essential to my work as an author, storyteller and teacher educator.” As a member of the graduate faculty, Nina has taught Music and Movement; Storytelling; Social Studies as the core of an integrated curriculum for children with special needs and is the founder and project coordinator of FEAST: Folklore Education & Storytelling for Teachers (in collaboration with the Bank Street College Library). Noted as “among the very best in the field…” – of folktale retellings (Mayes & Lewis, 2004) titles by Nina Jaffe include: The golden flower: A taíno myth from Puerto Rico, The way meat loves salt: A Cinderella tale from the Jewish tradition, Patakìn: World tales of drums and drummers and the inaugural DC Comics Wonder Woman books for young readers.
MSEd, Bilingual Special Education, Bank Street College of Education
Jaffe, N. (2010, 1989) “Los tres acertijos” in Beuchat, C. (Ed). Atrapalecturas 6: Leyendo sin limites (MN Editorial, Santiago, CL) From: The three riddles: A Jewish folktale (Bantam).
(2005). The golden flower: A taíno myth from Puerto Rico. Illus. E. O. Sánchez. Houston, TX: Arte Publico Press. La flor de oro: Un mito taíno de Puerto Rico. ALA Pura Belpré Award.
(2004). I am Wonder Woman: The contest. Illus. B. Caldwell. New York: Harper Collins.
(2000). Storytelling and folk narrative in classroom life. In N. Nager & E. K. Shapiro (Eds.), Revisiting a progressive pedagogy: The developmental-interaction approach. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. (161-178).
(1997). The mysterious visitor: Stories of the prophet Elijah. Illus. E. Savadier. New York: Scholastic. AJL Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers.
Jaffe, N. & Whitney, C. (March 2018) The Town School: Family Morning program – with second grade students, teachers and parents – to support hurricane relief for Puerto Rico.
Jaffe, N. (April 2017) From read-aloud to retelling: Planting a story garden in kindergarten. Where Did the Garden Go? Practice, Policy and Advocacy. Bank Street College of Education
Jaffe, N. (April 2017) Storytelling and oral traditions: Personal & global perspectives. Columbia University American Civilization Lecture Series (American Language Program).
Jaffe, N. & Delerme, A. (November, 2014) Storytelling, songs & rhythmic games: Bringing oral traditions into the classroom. 92Y Wonderplay Conference: The power of the teacher-child relationship: Inspiring, encouraging, transforming.
Jaffe, N. & Giansanti, L. (1999-2001) Scholastic Teacher Radio (conducted guest interviews including; Ruby Bridges; Marilyn Burns, Mae Jemison; Taylor Mali; Wynton Marsalis).
Jaffe, N. (December 1998). Performances and workshops in collaboration with University of La Laguna. International Festival of Storytelling in Los Silos. Tenerife, Spain.