Our Faculty

Nina Jaffe

Course InstructorCurriculum Research SpecialistProgram & Community Outreach Coordinator with the Bank Street Bookstore

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.

Educational Background

MSEd, Bilingual Special Education, Bank Street College of Education

Selected publications:

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.