Springboard to Learning is the only Missouri affiliate of the National Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. The Wolf Trap professional development model helps to prepare young children for a lifetime of learning by educating, modeling, and coaching host teachers in how to use active, multi-sensory, arts-integrated learning experiences in the classroom.
Springboard professional performing artists, specially trained in the Wolf Trap model, partner with early childhood educators in the classroom to provide developmentally appropriate, arts-integrated learning strategies within the framework of their early childhood curriculum. Teaching strategies incorporate singing, dancing, role-playing, and storytelling. To help build teachers’ arts-integration skills, the Wolf Trap Institute professional development model pairs early childhood educators with professional teaching artists—musicians, dancers, actors, storytellers, and puppeteers—to train through classroom residencies.
Teachers who participate in the Early Arts program receive hours of professional development, including ongoing coaching from Wolf Trap Teaching Artists and access to lesson plans and online resources. Students receive the benefit of a teacher well versed in effective arts-integration strategies, as well as direct classroom experiences with Wolf Trap Teaching Artists in residence.
Springboard also offers children ages birth to three years, along with their teachers, parents and caregivers, the opportunity to take part in a Baby Artsplay!™ residency program in their community.
The goal of a Baby Artsplay! Classroom-Based Residency is to provide children ages birth to three, and the early childhood educators who care for them, with a holistic early childhood music, movement and drama program designed to support the children’s intellectual, language/emergent literacy, social, emotional, and physical development.
The Baby Artsplay! Family-Based Residency Program provides children ages three months to three years old and their parents/caregivers with classes that enhance learning and development through music, movement, and drama.
Both residencies are designed to support an arts-integrated, hands-on approach to both teaching and learning. Instructional materials are provided the The Greater St. Louis Wolf Trap Institute for early childhood educators and caregivers who participate in residencies. All residencies are based on a children’s book, which will be left behind for all host educators participating in a Baby Artsplay residency.