About Springboard to Learning
Springboard to Learning believes that meaningful, memorable learning experiences transform a child’s worldview. It is this belief that fuels our mission to develop children’s abilities to think critically, create, collaborate and communicate. Springboard to Learning envisions a future where all children are passionate, engaged learners who experience success.
With a combined history of over 100 years as Springboard to Learning and Young Audiences of St. Louis, Springboard to Learning has positively impacted millions of under-resourced students and teachers throughout St. Louis through creative programming and pedagogy, igniting a love of learning. Springboard to Learning was established in the St. Louis Public School District in 1965 by Elise Schweich to help students experience world-wide arts and cultures. After 41 years, Springboard to Learning expanded by merging with Young Audiences of St. Louis in 2006.
During the 2016-2017 school year, we served 52,660 students in elementary, middle schools and community venues during 134,945 student contact hours. Over 150 distinct programs, taught by knowledgeable teaching artists and content specialists, are available throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area, the eastern half of Missouri, and the Metro East area of Illinois. In all, Springboard delivered 945 programs, in 5,365 program sessions, to students in 125 schools and 32 community venues. Springboard has a strong commitment to serving children who might not otherwise have cultural enrichment opportunities. Overall, 69 percent of school children served by our programs are economically disadvantaged as defined by state guidelines.
Springboard is a 501(c)(3) organization with a volunteer board of directors, full- and part-time office staff, and a roster of talented teaching artists. It is the St. Louis affiliate of Young Audiences Arts for Learning, a nationwide network committed to integrating the arts and culture into young people’s education. It is also the only affiliate of the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts in Missouri or Illinois. For more information, download our annual report.
Springboard teaching artists are professional musicians, dancers, artists, writers and storytellers, as well as experts in science, literature, and history and culture of foreign lands.
Springboard also provides professional development opportunities that feature engaging activities designed for teachers to take back to the classroom.
Our National Affiliations
Springboard to Learning is affiliated with the national Young Audiences Arts for Learning network. Founded in 1952, the mission of Young Audiences Arts for Learning is to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. Our network is made up of local affiliated nonprofits that collectively impact over 5 million young people each year. The national Young Audiences Arts for Learning network works collaboratively to advance arts in education through advocacy, communications, fundraising, program development, professional learning, and other support. To explore our national network, please visit: www.youngaudiences.org/YA-network-map.
Springboard to Learning is the only Missouri affiliate of the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. This internationally respected program of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts provides innovative arts-integrated teaching strategies embedded in a 16-session residency to early childhood educators, caregivers, and young children through the disciplines of drama, music, and dance.