Richmond, VA (October 10, 2018)—Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts (Wolf Trap) today announced it will bring arts-based learning to preschool and kindergarten students in the greater Richmond, Virginia, area, expanding its national affiliate network to 19 partners. The new affiliate partner is Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (RPAA), a nonprofit whose mission is to provide diverse local and world-class performing arts, transformative arts education experiences for students of all ages, and inspirational venues — all to strengthen the cultural and economic vitality of the Greater Richmond region.
RPAA, which has education programs that span the entire educational spectrum, will operate its early childhood programs as Greater Richmond Wolf Trap, using Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts’ proven model, which pairs active learning experiences for children with powerful, effective professional development for early childhood educators. Educators receive hands-on, customized coaching, working side by side with professional teaching artists to develop arts-based skills and discover how to actively engage preschool and kindergarten students in core subjects through singing, dancing, role-playing, and storytelling.
Earlier today, Wolf Trap and RPAA announced the new Greater Richmond Wolf Trap program at a press conference at Martin Luther King Jr. Preschool Center. At the event, First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam remarked on the importance of high-quality early childhood education and praised Richmond for partnering with Wolf Trap to improve early learning experiences for its young children. Other speakers in attendance included Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane, Superintendent of Richmond Public Schools Jason Kamras, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts President and CEO Arvind Manocha, Manager of Regional Preschool Centers for Richmond Public Schools Dr. Johnnye Massenburg-Johnson, and the chair of RPAA Board of Directors Rodney T. Willett.
“Wolf Trap has seen through its years of experience that the performing arts can truly make an impact in young children’s education, and in their lives,” said Akua Kouyate-Tate, Vice President, Education for the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. “So we’re thrilled when we find like-minded organizations like RPAA to help us bring this way of joyful, active learning to life in cities across the country. We welcome Greater Richmond Wolf Trap to our ever-growing family.”
Greater Richmond Wolf Trap has already begun work through the training of seven professional teaching artists specializing in a variety of art forms, and will focus on methods of enhancing literacy in schools and early childhood centers in Richmond and surrounding counties. Starting this fall, they will collaborate with early childhood educators to integrate artistic experiences into their classrooms. Greater Richmond Wolf Trap’s work will focus specifically on literacy-based residency programs, while teaching artists from Wolf Trap’s national office – based in Vienna, VA, will continue to provide services in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in Richmond through its Early STEM/Arts program.
“The work we will do as Greater Richmond Wolf Trap is truly an extension of our mission, which is to bring transformative arts education experiences to the children of Richmond,” said Jennifer Maddux, Director of Education for RPAA. “We’re proud to partner with an organization that shares our belief that the arts can be a powerful vehicle that teachers can use to educate young children in ways they otherwise might not have been exposed to.”
Wolf Trap’s model has been verified through research that shows the potential for dramatic increases in student achievement. An independent study by the American Institutes for Research found that children participating in the Wolf Trap Institute program gained an equivalent of 1.3 months of learning in mathematics, or 26 additional days, than children in a control group. The research found a sustained impact amounting to 1.7 additional months of learning, or 34 additional days, even though not all students continued to be taught by teachers participating in the program.
In addition to the classroom residency program, Greater Richmond Wolf Trap will offer the full array of professional development workshops, training programs, and education resources available through Wolf Trap Institute. Each year, Wolf Trap’s programs provide early childhood education services for more than 75,000 young children and educators through a network of 19 affiliate programs across the U.S. and internationally.
For more information about Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, visit www.wolftrap.org/institute.
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation year-round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap Foundation’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.
Richmond Performing Arts Alliance (formerly Richmond CenterStage Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide diverse local and world-class performing arts, transformative arts education experiences for students of all ages, and inspirational venues—all to strengthen the culture and economic vitality of the Greater Richmond region. It is the home to 11 resident arts companies and performing arts groups. RPAA venues include the historic Carpenter Theatre, Libby S. Gottwald Playhouse and Rhythm Hall at Dominion Energy Center and Altria Theatre – the largest performance venue between New York and Atlanta. Its arts education initiative operates out of the Genworth BrightLights Education Center and reaches students of all ages in the City of Richmond and surrounding counties.
Wolf Trap Public Relations Contact
Peter Milligan, Manager, Education Communicationsfirstname.lastname@example.org | 703.255.1980