On Tuesday, August 27th, Springboard to Learning was one of nine grant recipients in the St. Louis region to receive funding for early childhood programming from the PNC Foundation as part of the PNC Grow Up Great initiative.

With support from the PNC Foundation, Springboard to Learning will deploy Wolf Trap teaching artists—providing residencies, professional development, family workshops, and BabyArts Play—to children ages birth to six during the 2019-2021 school years. Through residencies and professional development sessions, teaching artists model arts-integrated techniques for the classroom teacher and provide instruction on how to implement the techniques. Family workshops equip parents to integrate strategies into daily family home-life, extending learning beyond school, whereas BabyArts Play exposes families to cultural institutions.

The grant presentation was held at EdHub STL at Innovation Hall in the St. Louis Cortex District, and kicked off with a performance by students from the Downtown Children’s Center and Purina Childhood Development Center, led by Wolf Trap Teaching Artists Sherry Norfolk and Margaret Hassenstab. After meeting Sesame Street’s very own Cookie Monster, the students showed off some of the skills they’ve learned in the time Norfolk and Hassenstab have been embedded in their classrooms.

Afterwards, Executive Director Cathy Hartmann was invited on stage as Springboard was recognized by the PNC Foundation, alongside eight other organizations, as co-recipients of a $446,000 grant to support early childhood education organizations across the Greater St. Louis region.

The other organizations recognized were: First Step STL Collaborative, the LUME Institute, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Parents As Teachers, St. Louis County Library, St. Louis Public Library, The Magic House and Turn the Page STL.

The event then featured a presentation by IFF of their assessment, funded in part by PNC, entitled The First Step to Equity: Building a Better Future Through Early Childhood Education in St. Louis. The assessment examines access to quality early childhood education programs, identifies gaps in service, and pinpoints other early childhood education infrastructure needs in St. Louis.

Since introducing Grow Up Great to St. Louis nine years ago, PNC has invested more than $5 million to local early childhood education initiatives and logged more than 7,500 volunteer hours to benefit early childhood education across Greater St. Louis.

To learn more about Springboard to Learning’s affiliation with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, visit springboardstl.org/wolftrp.

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