Director’s Message

Dear Friends of Springboard to Learning,

Oh baby! We are moving and shaking!

Springboard to Learning is moving and shaking the early childhood education scene as it introduces Baby Artsplay!™ to the St. Louis metro area. The Baby Artsplay! Classroom-Based Residency program is for children age birth to three years and their early childhood educators. The Baby Artsplay! model incorporates music, movement, and drama into its holistic approach to education, supporting intellectual, language, social, emotional, and physical development. Residencies also include embedded professional development for early childhood educators, modeling and coaching how to integrate arts-based activities into their daily classroom routines.

Baby Artsplay! debuted at the Downton Children’s Center in April, which served as host site for the training of three Springboard to Learning teaching artists. As master teaching artist Valerie Carroll of the national Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts led the training, it was hard not to be impressed by the wide-eyed responses of children as young as seven months. Not only did the program capture babies’ attention, but it held that attention. Babies were moving and shaking as they learned steady beat, gross motor movement, and vocalization using egg shakers, scarves, drums, puppets, and other visual aids tied to a chosen children’s book.

In addition to the classroom-based program, Springboard is moving and shaking how parents educate through its Baby Artsplay Family-Based Residency Program. During regularly scheduled classes, parents and their children engage in music, drama, and movement to increase sensory awareness, spatial relations, motor development, and cognitive language skills. Parents learn how to facilitate developmentally appropriate performing arts experiences for – and with – their children.

Both programs use strategies like active engagement, music and singing, reinforcing steady beat, the dramatic experience, creative movement, and role-playing to support infant and toddler development.

We are so very grateful for your support of Springboard to Learning. Your belief in early investment and the power of the arts helps us get moving and shaking into this new work! Your partnership is invaluable, and we thank you.