Teaching Roster

Tekelia C. Kelly

Contact Name: Tekelia Kelly

Email: Click to email

Phone: (423) 421-5646

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All Aboard! Take the STEAM Train! Travel down the train tracks of American Civilization!

Move your students full-steam ahead with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) education. Students will be future-ready, from history to the 21st century, learning about American inventors, scientists, leaders, artists and more. STEAM Teaching Artist, Tekelia C. Kelly, an experienced engineer, educator, entertainer and entrepreneur, also owns CHIPS Learning Services, providing creative instructional design and education technology solutions.

Inside the empowering train cars of educational theater, teaching artist residencies, and/or student ticket subsidy shows, Tekelia moves students full-STEAM ahead “celebrating life through song and story” and using her professional STEAM training and career experience to help teach across the PreK-12 curriculum.

In collaboration with teachers, Tekelia designs STEAM-themed educational programs that can include project-based learning, with interactive folk-tale problem-solving and rigorous challenges. Lessons offer academic, career and technical education and help students develop character traits such as perseverance, empathy and resilience.

A journey with Tekelia leaves children enlightened and empowered about how popular American music is rooted in spirituals, gospel, jazz, freedom songs and patriotic songs. Students discover how making music is still an integral part of American culture, with examples such as Nashville’s new National Museum of African American Music.

Using songs and stories Tekelia reaches and teaches students of all abilities about American people, places, problems and progress. She engages students in singing, storytelling, role playing and/or interacting with her STEAM-based activities. A live human performance by Tekelia benefits students in a way no book can.

Available works include: The Many Careers of Harriet Tubman (Reenactment), “She Sings” Series: 1) Spirituals and Work Songs of Slavery in the 1600-1800s, 2) Songs of Jazz and The Great Depression in the 1930-1940s” and 3) Songs of Freedom and Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s”, History Revived: The Power of Music, Get On Board: In That Gettin’ Up Mornin’; and Hacking the Code To The Underground Railroad.

What Folks Are Saying:
Mrs. Kelly uses her amazing voice and dramatization to connect students to a time and place that is so distant to their existence today. She allows students to be part of the culture during a very oppressive time period. Through her work, students begin to see slaves as people not just stories of a time in history.

Dana Malone
Literacy Coach
Alpine Crest/DuPont Elementary
Chattanooga, TN

Dear Ms. Kelly,

I am so grateful you were able to come to our school and share the history of the Underground Railroad, along with other beautiful spirituals. As you were happy to be “met” by the students, I was just as happy to be validated by you in my instruction during Black History Month.

I appreciated how you made the children aware that “when you read and understand, you know, grow and go”, a privilege that the slave children did not have. I heard many comments concerning your beautiful authentic clothing, as well as your lovely a capella.

Thank you again for sharing with our DuPont students.

Sally Bates
Music Teacher
DuPont Elementary
Chattanooga, Tennessee

“Thank you, Mrs. Kelly! Your program had such wonderful variety, and your warm spirit really shined through!”

–Mrs. Clark,
Nolan Elementary,
Signal Mountain, Tennessee

“I learned that you should never give up hope, no matter how dark the situation could be. Slaves were in the darkest hour of their whole life, but they didn’t give up hope, and they ended up becoming free.”
DuPont Elementary Student
“What’s Right With Our Schools”
WDEF Channel 12 TV
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Artist Work Samples


Sample Programs Offered

Program Title: She Sings: Spirituals and Work Songs of Slavery in the 1600-1800s

Program Type: Arts Appreciation

Program Description:

Performing as a one-woman show entitled “She Sings: Spirituals and Work Songs of Slavery in the 1600-1800s”, Teaching Artist Tekelia Kelly captivates and educates through song and story, as she teaches about a time in history when African-American Negro Spirituals, Gospel and Work songs, and those who sang them during Slavery, were an integral part of American and African-American experience. As a tribute artist to the music of that era, reenacting the events and people as a backdrop, Tekelia engages students with singing, storytelling, role playing and interactive dialogue, including questions and answers. Students benefit from her live human performance that shows-and-tells about history the way no book can.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: She Sings: Songs of Jazz and The Great Depression in the 1930-1940s

Program Type: Arts Appreciation

Program Description:

Performing as a one-woman show entitled She Sings: Songs of Jazz and The Great Depression in the 1930-1940s”, Teaching Artist Tekelia Kelly captivates and educates through song and story, as she teaches about a time in history when Jazz songs and those who performed them during the Great Depression were an integral part of American and African-American experience. As a tribute artist to the music of that era, reenacting the events and people as a backdrop, Tekelia engages students with singing, storytelling, role playing and interactive dialogue, including questions and answers. Students benefit from her live human performance that shows-and-tells about history the way no book can.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: She Sings: Songs of Freedom and Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s

Program Type: Arts Appreciation

Program Description:

Performing as a one-woman show entitled “She Sings: Songs of Freedom and Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s”, Teaching Artist Tekelia Kelly captivates and educates through song and story, as she teaches about a time in history when Freedom Songs and those who sang them during the Civil Rights Movement were an integral part of American and African-American experience. As a tribute artist to the music of that era, reenacting the events and people as a backdrop, Tekelia engages students with singing, storytelling, role playing and interactive dialogue, including questions and answers. Students benefit from her live human performance that shows-and-tells about history the way no book can.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

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