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National Children's Folksong Repository

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Calling All Unknown Culture Keepers USE YOUR PHONE and Record Your Song or Chant


You no longer hear kids say: "I know that song"
Now all you hear kids say is: "I've got that song"






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Interdisciplinary Adult Literacy & Family Literacy Project

Literacy -- Adult Literacy & Family Literacy

Integrate the ARTS

Literacy, music, technology in the classroom

Classroom Project

Thematic Reading Curriculum

Indigenous Folksong Reading Curriculum



MUSIC - The Chant is the Heart Beat of culture - a universal truth.

- The fundemental building blocks for learning to read.

- Get It up online use technology to save the culture.

- Humans have a basic instinct for play that underlies the development of culture.

EDUCATION - Integrate literacy, music, technology into the classroom.


Mr. Allan Slutsky Grammy Winner, Musician, Author, Producer Standing In The Shadows of Motown


Ms. Carla Benson - Lead Vocalist Standing In The Shadows of Motown and Music Teacher


Ms. Karen Ellis - Standing In The Shadows of Motown, Teacher, Author, Publisher, Founder Educational CyberPlayGround, National Children’s Folksong Repositor


Dr. John Rickford --Professor of Linguistics Stanford University


Dr. David Karen Professor of Sociology Bryn Mawr College Upper Merion School Board Member, Montgomery, County PA


Jacqueline Smith - Assistant Professor of Information Science, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA


Mr. John Broomall Nationl Endowment for the Arts Executive DirectorPennsylvania Alliance For Arts Education

Box 678 Immaculata College, Immaculata, PA 1934




YOU use the phone to Record (Voice Post) your song or chant and help save the national treasure of our own unknown culture makers.


  • Folksongs

  • Jumprope Chants
  • Circle Game songs
  • Playground Song - Folksong


The Historic Electronic Online Archive of Children's Folk songs. A Public Folklore Project built by the children of the United States and territories. Show your pride, document your community, state, or school and share your contributions with others.In this new millennium we offer the historic electronic online library.

"Sounds Like Fun" - Listen to examples already collected from children

Listen and find the music of the text (speech)

Through the music find the rhythm

Through the rhythm you will understand the meaning of the words . . .

  • TEACHERS CAN . . . Review the Research

Children's music starts with speech. Speech is the beginning of formal language. We progress from speech, to the chant and then the song.

Every culture has its own indigenous music. I am sure you have heard people say that music is the universal language. All cultures are hard-wired for the language of music. And children's indigenous music that we call folk song is a culturally diverse national treasure, and was first collected by grammy winner Allan Lomax and archived in the Library of Congress.

A baby's perception of the rhythmic pattern is a key mechanism that launches the process of human language acquisition.

Babbling results from the baby's sensitivity to specific patterns at the heart of language, like the sing-song patterns that bind syllables, the tiny units of language, into words and sentences. Rhythmic patterns underlie the human language. The sing song way in which parents speak to their baby, the lullaby, finger play, and rhyming games common to nursery rhymes at home and in school, are more important for a child's developing brain than we ever imagined, and they provide an important tool for the young child to discover the grammar and structure of her native language.

What Technology Can Take Away, Technology Can Save

Playground material is vanishing, children's songs, and chants are disappearing, they are getting lost.

Technology plays a big role in its disappearance but the very source of the problem will be used as the solution. We can create the online digital archive, and their culture must be preserved. It is important that we give credit to our nation's children who are responsible for keeping culture alive and to reward them with a public project they can build themselves as the nation's archive. We all need to understand the importance of play and the importance music plays in their lives. Nothing else hardwires the brain getting it ready for language and reading like the songs and chants played daily in our playgrounds.

The core relationship children have with the oral tradition and play is transformation.

Children will take the space they play in, the games and songs they are playing with, and create something new with them. This act gives a feeling and sense of ownership. Old traditions are now transformed and given new life and now we have the new cyberplayground where we find THE NATIONAL CHILDREN'S FOLKSONG REPOSITORY

You can help create and capture our collective heritage in the nation's online archive called the National Children's Folksong Repository.

Empower Children who are the unknown culture makers by recording their Voices and sharing their cultural heritage.

Empower the lay public by generating new excitement about their history created by a heightened awareness and interest in the larger community that is retained in the cultural landscape. The NCFR project is net centric, embedded in cyberspace by breaking the meatspace boundaries of neighborhood.

The playgrounds of the nation are now boundaryless.

We can share and compare the cultural connections and diversity of children's living playground poetry with the fabulous oral tradition of all of our ancestors. Allan Lomax says [". . .Rhymes that have been rubbed clean and hard against the bone of life, whose stories are rooted in an eternity of time."][ ". . . Jingles, riddles, silly ballads, wistful lullabies, jiggy tunes and game songs"] belong to the children of America and reflect a composite character of the common people residing in the United States.

The mysterious quality that defines the folk song apart from other forms of music lies in the means by which the song is preserved over time and transmitted in space from author to audience.

Folk songs have lasted on the playground in which culture is relatively homogeneous and customs are shared across class and ethnic lines. This is our shared folk culture. The folk song lives in memory alone, and like the proverbial river, into which one can never step twice, it is always in the process of becoming.The early performers of these folk songs developed their repertoires before they were introduced to the: Printing press, player pianos, film, vinyl, radio, television, VCR, CD, DVD, Internet, WWW, MP3, and the convergence through 3G next generation of all ubiquitous media which has transformed all of us into passive consumers rather than culture makers. We have options. We have an obligation.At the turn of the nineteenth century we have the era of industrialism, machines, science, and progress. The Post World War II inroads of the technology, electronic media and the merchandising of popular culture whose standardizing and modernizing influences tend to destroy or radically alter long preserved folkways allows this archive the opportunity to reteach generations to come what has been getting lost.

The Problem As Solution - Please Join Our Effort

This is the public folklore project that the nation's children will build

A Net Centric Project Offers The Opportunity

Only now can we collect our heritage and give the future generations a living history where these songs that portray the old dramas, conflicts, and celebrations of the American character can be shared in real time from anywhere in the world. Everyone will act like an ethnomusicologist, collecting the authentic indigenous playground poetry from our children. Some of these songs have been passed down child to child over the centuries and have remained in tact for 500 years.


Idigenous PlayGround Poetry - the root story of our children's imaginations.The topics discussed by poets, novelists, newspapers, historians, playwrights are in folk songs, chants, and play parties. They include stories about betrayed innocence, murder, dangerous adventures, war, farming, crime, punishment, violence, death, labor, individualism, outlaws, marriage, love, humor, trickery, economic exploitation, righteous outrage, poverty, hatred, and revenge. But as you know when children move they take their material with them -- so it is a living poetry that speaks to the truth of children's lives, and prepares them for how the world works.As in all literature, our indigenous playground poetry - our folk songs contain the same familiar human drama that characters explore in every narrative, in all cultures world wide. The same simple pleasures and conflicts of our ancestors are ever present within the human mind, and human community of today.

Help children develop the use of technology as a tool for learning and for use in all sorts of career related ways in the real world, by teaching "skills" with a learner-centered constructivist approach. Skills are important, and you ARE helping your students develop them if you are providing learner-centered / constructivist events, and hands-on (experiential), facilitated discovery. Anyway you approach it, the learner almost always develops both a knowledge base of skills and/or concepts along with the ability to make critical and/or creative decisions about the uses of those skills/concepts when the learning is student-centered and constructivist based.

Teachers can facilitate learning environments and learning events that lead to the eventual use of higher order thinking and the very very important assimilation and ability to transfer those skills out of the initial learning environment, but knowledge must precede application which precedes all important higher level thinking skills.

Educational CyberPlayGround hosts this public folklore online project.