Mary Ellen Hill ~ Storyteller & Teacher

Press Release

Mary Ellen Hill, Storyteller Extraordinaire

April 28 - May 5, 2010 edition, Volume 12, No. 28 of the Piedmont Post: A Community Newspaper Serving the Citizens of Piedmont,

mary ellen hill storyteller

Mary Ellen Hill, Storyteller extraordinaire, visited Wildwood Elementary School on April 21, 2010 for a special Earth Week assembly. Outfitted in a whimsical, multi-layered costume representing parts of the Universe, she shared creation myths from Africa, China and the California Miwok with an emphasis on the Earth.  Ms. Hill is celebrating her 20th anniversary captivating audiences with multicultural folk and fairy tales about sun, moon, spider, ocean, turtle, strawberries, humans and more.    Her stories encourage listeners to actively participate, with performances often enhanced by props, costumes, song and sign language.  Interestingly, Ms. Hill's first storytelling performance was in a redwood grove amphitheater on Earth Day in 1990.   In addition to her performances, Ms. Hill teaches storytelling for children and adults, performs at parties and other celebrations, and has co-directed Puppets and Pie, a popular puppetry camp, as well as a camp and class for adopted children called, ACC.  She has made a donation to Spring Fling under the category CP 240 - Storytelling Children's Party.


It's Earth Week and there are lots of fun planned activities for Wildwood students. Check out the attached calendar and read about some of the activities below. If you can help out, please volunteer at:

Earthweek Spreadsheet

Monday, more than 50 kids enjoyed the fruits of their labor by harvesting the edible garden along with our very own gardening expert Anne Weinberger and her famous fig-shallot dressing (recipe available on request!). Says Anne: "The kids worked together throughout the whole process of harvesting, cleaning and preparing salad and learned that they can grow yummy food on their own and don't need a fancy recipe - or even a stove - to make it a wonderful eating experience. So many skills learned in our outdoor classroom!

mary ellen hill storyteller

Meanwhile, inside the auditorium Diana Feiger lead a team of 5th grade students to count the coins collected for our Wells Bring Hope project. While the final tally is not in, Diana says that at least $522 was collected for Wildwood to sponsor a community water well in Nigeria. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

And inside the classrooms, all students had an opportunity to make an individual pledge to do their part to protect the Earth. The beautifully decorated 5 x 8 cards will be hung around the school on Wednesday so that they are up for viewing on Thursday, Earth Day. If you have a moment come help hang the cards on Wednesday morning (8:30-9:30) or view them on Thursday!

Yesterday, students had an opportunity during lunch recess to watch a movie featuring animals that share our planet (Earth). Kindergartners participated in a recycling relay to sharpen their "What goes Where" skills when it comes to garbage. Low Landfill Lunches are encouraged all week.

Today, tomorrow and Friday, Wildwood 1st Graders are teaming up with the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program to turn worn-out athletic shoes of all brands into Nike Grind, a material used in sports and playground surfaces. So clean out your closet 1st graders, and bring your athletic shoes on Wednesday, April 21 to a collection box outside Mrs. Pillsbury's first grade room. And, remember, athletic shoes only. We can't recycle shoes with metal parts, mud or water, cleats, dress shoes, sandals or flip-flops.

Also today, we are excited to welcome Mary Ellen Hill, a 20 year professional storyteller, who will tell Wildwood students an original tale, blending myth and cosmology, explaining the wondrous 13.7 billion year old unfolding of the Cosmos, earth and all life . . . and how humans can handle the challenge of global warming and other threats to the Earth.

Tomorrow is the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. Start your day out right by Walking to School if you can and enjoying bagels and coffee (for parents). Also, take a look at the "One Small Step" Display, featuring re-usable lunchware products at great prices, with 20% donated to Piedmont schools this month! Look for additional details in this WhatNot about how to order and free delivery.

After school tomorrow, students meet up for the 2nd Annual Wildwood Litter Patrol. Led by parent volunteers and Schoolmates staff, students will help clean up the grounds and playing fields around Wildwood. They will be provided with plastic garbage bags, gloves, and an after-work treat!!! Parents must pre sign-up children to participate, either signing up at schoolmates or online ( We will meet at 3:05 at the Schoolmates deck and be done by 4 pm.

Friday is "Be Green Day" where children are encouraged to wear green or a green message. It is also a great day to recycle your old ink cartridges! Please donate your used laser/toner and inkjet cartridges, used cell phones, digital cameras, ipods, gps devices and laptops, while raising funds for our school. A large green collection box is located in the front entrance of Wildwood, just inside the double doors. Help us turn this waste into cash! But please, no batteries or other large e-waste, e.g. regular phones or desktop computers!

Happy Earth Week Everyone!!!

Carole Parker, Co-Chair Wildwood Green Team

Green Schools Initiative

E-mail a 1-2 paragraph story (attach a photo or two) about the fun, special, meaningful or surprising things your school did for Earth Day and/or National Healthy Schools Day to:

Did students walk or bike to school? What special projects did you do? Was a waste-free lunch on the menu? Did you run a petition drive? Collect e-waste for safe disposal? Your school's story belongs in our Earth Day Round-Up. Help us build  momentum for more green and healthy schools around the state by sharing your great ideas and best practices.

Thanks for sending your story and photos today to!

Betsy Bigelow-Teller
Communications Coordinator
Green Schools Initiative
c/o Earth Island Institute, Suite 460
The Brower Center
2150 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA, 94704

KBPC Podcast

Wednesday, April, 15, 2009
mary ellen hill storyteller
Listen to Mary Ellen on KBPC

KBPC's twenty-fifth podcast, in keeping with this year's theme - What's Your Story? - features an interview with local storyteller, Mary Ellen Hill. Sixth grade Ezra asks Ms. Hill how she became a storyteller and what is the source of her inspiration.

What's a storyteller without a story? Ezra thought just that, and he invited Mary Ellen Hill back to tell a story. Ms. Hill tells a Siberian folk tale called, The Hunter and The Tiger.
Listen to Mary Ellen on KBPC

The following article was published by The Daily Review, December 25, 2007.

Stories of the Winter Sun

mary ellen hill storytelling in library

SAN LORENZO-The Earth's Northern Hemisphere is at its farthest distance from the sun during the winter solstice. This means that Saturday had the shortest amount of daylight and the longest night of the year, with the sunrise at 7:21 a.m. and set at 4:54 p.m. The days now grow longer and the nights shorter until we reach the longest day of the year-also know as the summer solstice-which is typically June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere.

"Solstice means the sun stands still," storyteller Mary Ellen Hill told a gathering of children...

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As Published in the Contra Costa Times

Posted in the El Cerrito Journal
a Publication of the Contra Costa Times
on Friday, March 19, 2004
Written by Brian Kluepfel, Correspondent

Oakland ~ It was at a Claremont Library "story swap", the tale-tellers' equivalent of an open mike, that Mary Ellen Hill had a premonition of her future. As she listened to the stories pour forth from the intimate circle, she said to herself, "that's what I want to do with my life."

It was something, in fact, with which the transplanted Hoosier had some little experience. The Indianapolis native began her professional life in Colorado as a second- and third-grade teacher, and thus had plenty of experience getting -- and holding -- the wee ones' attention.

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Oakland, California, USA, North American Continent, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy, Universe
Mary Ellen Hill ~ Storyteller & Teacher
Telephone 510-219-3474
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