Springboard to Learning Continues to Build on Rich History of Inspiring Underserved Students through Arts-centered Educational Experiences

June 22, 2018 – ST LOUIS – This year marks an important milestone in St. Louis arts community: the 60th anniversary of the founding of Young Audiences of St. Louis. The organization broke ground and opened young minds by bringing arts and culture programming into local schools in 1958. Founded by a small group of musicians, music teachers and music lovers, the goal of Young Audiences of St. Louis was to introduce children to the arts through performances, creating the next generation of audience members and arts supporters.

Shortly after Young Audiences of St. Louis was founded, Springboard to Learning was founded in St. Louis in 1965, bringing teaching artists into the classroom with longer term residency programs and hands-on workshops to develop children’s abilities to think critically, create, collaborate and communicate through exposure to and interaction with arts and culture. The two organizations operated separately for decades serving many of the same students before merging in 2006 to offer a menu of programming to inspire and educate kids across the region through the arts.

“Today, through affiliation with the national Young Audiences Arts for Learning Network, Springboard to Learning serves more than 50,000 students annually in the St. Louis region, many in under-resourced districts,” says Cathy Hartmann, Executive Director of Springboard to Learning. “We’re very proud of the dynamic arts-centered programs that we offer incorporating the strengths of both organizations and continuing the legacy of Young Audiences some 60 years later.”

Several of Springboard to Learning’s signature programs incorporate culminating performances into their residencies giving students the perspectives of being both on stage and in the audience and harkening back to the roots of Young Audiences of St. Louis stage performances. Perhaps the most notable, the MusicMaker residency program, develops student literacy skills through music creation and song-writing. Not only do students learn basic components of music while constructing themed lyrics to music, they work to produce their own recorded songs, some of which are performed live at The Sheldon Concert Hall at an annual culminating event.

To learn more about Springboard to Learning programs or to make a donation to support its mission of igniting a passion for learning through the arts and programs like MusicMaker, visit www.springboardstl.org.

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About Springboard to Learning

Springboard to Learning believes that meaningful, memorable learning experiences transform a child’s worldview. Through creative programming and pedagogy, Springboard to Learning ignites a love of learning in students and teachers, increasing the likelihood that a child stays engaged in the learning process. For more than 52 years, Springboard to Learning has positively impacted millions of students and teachers throughout St. Louis, focusing on under-resourced areas, developing children’s abilities to think critically, create, collaborate and communicate. Last year, of the 52,660 children Springboard to Learning reached, more than 69 percent of the students were impoverished, eligible for free/reduced lunch. During FY17, Springboard’s client base consisted of 59.8 percent African American, 28.8 percent Caucasian, 6.3 percent Hispanic, 3.8 percent Asian and 0.6 percent American Indian/Alaskan Native. Springboard’s vision is that one day all children are passionate, engaged learners who experience success. For more information visit www.SpringboardSTL.org.