August 29, 2013
A grant from Fort HealthCare helped to complete the funding needs of a VSA Wisconsin Early Childhood program recently offered at Jefferson County Head Start, 415 South 8th Street, Watertown. The VSA Wisconsin Early Childhood-Healthy Foundations program brings teaching artists into early learning center classrooms for a 10-week period and uses dance, drama, creative writing, music, and visual arts to prepare children with disabilities for the typical school environment. Activities promote creative expression, peer interaction, language development and other early learning skills.
With additional support from the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, a grant from the Earl and Eugenia Quirk Foundation and registrant participation fees, the program hosted two art residencies, bringing teaching artists into early learning center classrooms in March and April of this year. An artist from VSA Wisconsin used dance, drama, creative writing, music, and visual arts to prepare children with and without disabilities for the typical school environment.
In this program, teaching artists promote creative expression, peer interaction and language development, as well as other early learning skills. The program goals are to enhance early learning skills through interactive and process-oriented arts activities, promote full student participation in the arts, strengthen early childhood educators’ abilities to utilize the arts to support the development of children of all abilities, and ensure the value of the arts as an essential learning tool.
VSA Wisconsin is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that uses the arts to celebrate the creative power and artistic accomplishments of children and adults with disabilities throughout Wisconsin. VSA Wisconsin’s nationally recognized Early Childhood program began in 1992 and serves children ages 3-6.