The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is supporting Arts & Learning Packs for under-resourced St. Louis students by awarding Springboard to Learning a $10,000 Challenge America grant.
Arts & Learning Packs are at-home, hands-on art kits that include a set of written and visual instruction, providing rich, arts-education experiences that connect with curricular content without requiring access to technology. Springboard to Learning offers seven unique Packs that encourage learning through kinetic sculpture creation, dramatic play, rainwater conservation, and other hands-on activities.
Community volunteers assist in making Arts & Learning Packs, working to assemble the parts and pieces necessary for each Pack. Since May of 2020, Springboard to Learning has distributed a total of 15,155 Arts & Learning Packs across the St. Louis metro area.
The Arts & Learning Pack project is among 168 projects across America selected to receive fiscal year 2022 funding in the Challenge America Grant category. Challenge America grants offer support primarily to small and mid-sized organizations for projects that extend the reach of the arts to populations that have limited access to the arts due to geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. The NEA awarded $1,680,000 nationwide.
“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects like this one from Springboard to Learning that help support the community’s creative economy,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. “Springboard to Learning in St. Louis is among the organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts.”
“COVID-19 and virtual learning highlighted the digital divide,” said Springboard Executive Director Cathy Hartmann. “As a means of reaching students with limited access to learning through technology, Springboard began distributing Arts & Learning Packs. We are excited to be combatting learning loss and engaging the community to help.”
For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news. To learning more about Arts & Learning Packs, visit springboardstl.org/artpacks.