Wolf Trap Institute For Early Learning Through The Arts Comes To Chattanooga

Monday, September 9, 2019

Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts announced it will bring its arts-based teaching and learning programs to early childhood classrooms in Chattanooga and the surrounding areas. The Southeast Center for Education in the Arts, which is a program of UTC, will operate as University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - Wolf Trap, becoming Wolf Trap Institute’s newest affiliate and expanding its network to 21 organizations across the United States and in Singapore.

UTC-Wolf Trap will implement Wolf Trap Institute’s proven model for early childhood arts integration, which pairs active learning experiences for the youngest learners with professional development for early childhood educators. Children in the greater Chattanooga schools, childcare centers and other learning environments will experience engaging, arts-based lessons that span across the curriculum including STEM, while the community’s educators will receive customized, hands-on training in arts-based techniques that they can apply to their current and future classrooms.

“We are incredibly proud that UTC will be the first university-named Wolf Trap affiliate,” said Laurie Melnik Allen, executive director of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts at UTC. “UTC-Wolf Trap will enable us to fulfill our mission to empower early childhood educators and UTC teacher candidates through an arts-rich experiential learning model. We will offer a roster of highly trained Wolf Trap teaching artists sharing their extensive knowledge of dance, drama, music and puppetry with students and teachers in early learning classrooms from Chattanooga and the region.

"Each teaching artist will turn the classroom into a learning lab for K-12 teachers to try out arts-integrated learning strategies that support literacy and social-emotional learning. This job-embedded approach to professional development will have a transformational impact on early-learning classrooms across throughout the region in and through the arts.”

SCEA simultaneously shared the announcement of its affiliation with Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts at an event held at the Siskin Children’s Institute, which provides education, pediatric healthcare services, home & community-based programs and outreach services in the field of developmental disabilities. Attendees observed classrooms in which Wolf Trap Teaching Artists engaged teachers and children in an arts-integrated learning experience.

“We are so proud to be working with an organization like the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts to bring high quality, engaging, joyful, and effective arts-based learning experiences to the children, teachers, and families of the greater Chattanooga area,” said Akua Kouyate-Tate, vice president of Education at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. “SCEA has a long history of furthering education in and through the arts by inspiring artists, teachers, and pre-service education students to teach children through and in the arts, and we’re looking forward to building yet another bridge that helps them extend that mission through Wolf Trap’s proven model.”

UTC–Wolf Trap took its first step as a Wolf Trap Institute affiliate in summer 2019, when it trained eight Chattanooga-based professional performing artists in the Wolf Trap model. Now trained as Wolf Trap Teaching Artists, they will provide lesson plans, share best practices, and interact with teachers and children through active arts-based learning experiences.

In addition to the classroom residency program, UTC–Wolf Trap will offer the full array of professional development workshops, training programs and education resources available through Wolf Trap Institute. Each year, the Institute's programs provide early childhood education services for nearly 100,000 children, parents, caregivers and educators through a network of 21 affiliate programs across the U.S. and in Singapore.

For more information about Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, visit www.wolftrap.org/education.


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