Arts for Learning (A4L) has been focused on serving our littlest learners by expanding our Early Learning programs to serve additional Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms throughout the county this fall!

At the forefront of these efforts is our Early Learning Program Manager Samantha Shalaby, who in the last month alone coordinated A4L sessions at the 2023 Early Head Start Professional Development conference, managed Wolf Trap training sessions for infants and toddlers and attended the Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts in Vienna, VA! This fall, we are preparing to serve 44 Head Start classrooms, and 16 Early Head Start classrooms across 11 different sites throughout Miami-Dade County, and here’s more on how we’re gearing up to make this happen.

On August 9, Wolf Trap trained Master Teaching Artists Latrice Bruno, Ana Miranda and Nzingah Oniwosan delivered arts-integration workshops to over 150 teachers during the 2023 Early Head Start Professional development conference. Teachers from all Early Head Start centers were in attendance to learn, share and discuss best practices for incorporating music, singing, creative movement, and theater techniques into their classroom lessons.

The Wolf Trap National Conference was filled with moments to learn, make connections and engage with members of the 24 Wolf Trap affiliates from across the country! Participants were treated not only to engaging learning sessions, but also to visits to local cultural institutions and performance venues, like the Wolf Trap Filene Center, which Samantha visited!

August ended on a high note as a new group A4L Teaching Artists received five days of training sessions by Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artists Sue Trainor and Penny Russell. Training included classroom observation sessions where trainees got to see Master Teaching Artists in action, engaging students in lessons integrating music or movement, followed by time to debrief and plan demonstration lessons of their own. Observation and planning sessions were held for both Preschool residencies for 3-5 year olds, and the Baby Arts Play! residencies, designed for children ages 3 months – 3 years.

Head Start and Early Head Start programs play a vital role in ensuring that all children in our community receive comprehensive education and the support they need to be ready for Kindergarten. We are ecstatic to play a part in helping teachers and students reach milestones, and become and remain lifelong learners!

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