Dear Friends of Springboard to Learning,
If you’ve ever had a child, it’s hard to forget the challenges of those early days of caring for a newborn — the crying; the frequent feedings; the diapers. Most would agree that the job is quite taxing. The same can be said for those working in childcare with our very youngest.
While brain development is at its height in the earliest years of a child’s life, educational resources for both parents and caregivers are not plentiful. It is for this reason that Springboard to Learning began implementing Wolf Trap Baby Artsplay!™ family-based and classroom-based residencies. Wolf Trap and Baby Artsplay! provide children ages three months to five years and their parents/caregivers with a holistic early childhood music, dance, and movement program aimed at supporting infants, toddlers, and preschoolers’ intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development.
In 2022, the St. Charles Early Childhood Center was one of Springboard’s first partners in the Baby Artsplay! work, providing workshops to their Parents as Teachers program. After a year of engagement, Center Coordinator Sarah Sherwood made some powerful observations. Sherwood shared that that due to COVID-19, many parents were not attending programs as frequently. She made it a priority to bring their community back together, and the partnership with Springboard was an important step toward that goal. Sherwood found that the collaboration and kindness of the Wolf Trap teaching artists with parents and their children made families feel comfortable, engaged, and resulted in parents asking for more programming.
Sherwood also reported that the Wolf Trap work changed the practice of her classroom teachers – an impact that was also being felt by parents. After observing a Wolf Trap-trained classroom teacher with her child, one parent shared, “The way she [Miss Cathy] read the stories changed the way I read each night by being animated, engaging, and even singing.” For Sherwood, “to see one of the parents have such a purposeful and productive takeaway was just exactly the hope for the partnership with Springboard to Learning.”
One hundred percent of the funds used to implement programs like Wolf Trap and Baby Artsplay! must be raised from Springboard’s community partners. These partners include schools, daycare centers, foundations, corporations, and individuals like you. You are helping provide young parents and caregivers with resources to help them succeed, and positioning infants, toddlers, and preschoolers for developmental success. Your partnership is invaluable, and we thank you.