In early 2018, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School was chosen by Superintendent, Ms. Silvia Abbato, Ms. Mirtha Serret District FAPA Supervisor, and the Union City Board of Education to be one of three Wolf Trap Grant recipients for the UC BOE. For five consecutive weeks, our kindergarten teachers: Ms. Mary Michael, Ms. Meylin Romero, Ms. Lissete Tello worked alongside an NJPAC artist in resident instructor: Yael Shacham to provide the kindergarten students a performing arts integrated classroom experience.
The Wolf Trap Institute is a national organization that works with early childhood programs to expose students to the Performing Arts and STEM concepts through the Wolf Trap Approach. “Wolf Trap Institute received a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop a program that uses a program that uses performing arts-based techniques to improve the math skills, the foundation for all science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM learning-a nationwide priority.” (Wolftrap.org,2018)
The Wolf Trap Approach focuses on 1) training teachers via hands-on Teacher Professional Development, 2) engaging children through fun and engaging classroom activities, 3) implement strategies that directly support curriculum goals, and 4) build a national network of partners that are trained to continue the Wolf Trap model. Wolf Trap provides programming to schools via the Artist in Resident who serves a dual purpose for the organization. The Artist in Resident both facilitates the lessons for the classroom students and the PD for the teachers. Through the residencies both the teachers and the students are exposed to key performing arts integrated concepts, once the residencies are completing the teachers are sufficiently equip to continue the concepts on their own.
Our Kindergarten Teachers and Students would like to kindly thank Ms. Silvia Abbato, Ms. Mirtha Serret and the Union City Board of Education for considering our school, students and community to be recipients of the Wolf Trap Grant for 2018. We hope that our partnership with NJPAC and the Wolf Trap Institute continues and we look forward to working with them next year.