Professional Development for Educators and Other Professionals
When VSAVT instructors visit a community site to present arts education activities, training for the professionals at the site is always part of the program. Sometimes the training takes place as hands-on demonstration. Sometimes there is training available separately, after the arts education activities. Training can be tailored to the needs of each organization.
Start With The Arts offers both hands-on mentoring through activities presented to children, and additional hours of training for child care providers outside of preschool hours. VSAVT’s training for home based child care providers fulfills the yearly requirement of training toward Vermont’s state-required Core Competencies for Early Childhood Educators.
Child care providers around the state find new confidence and skills through Start With The Arts trainings:
“I like it because it gives me ideas. Very rarely have I read a book and then done a project. But next year my whole theme will be books. I've signed up for the Bookmobile-Start With The Arts summer program.”
Jennifer Reynells, Alburg
“I've never been one to come up with my own curriculum. It's helped me come up with ideas. Tomorrow we get to do an activity I made up myself.”
Brenda Muzzy, Lyndonville
High School Self-Advocacy Theater offers experiential training to special education teachers and assistants as part of the residency and activities. An assistant in Colchester describes the change in perspective available through participation in VSAVT’s program:
“From my perspective, it's wonderful to be able to work (and have fun!) with students in a way so different from traditional academics. Seeing a student who had been withdrawn get up and do a pretend hoola-hoop, I could see her thinking, 'If I can do this, I can do anything!' I wish you could come every day and work with all our kids!”
Undergraduate and graduate students find enormous benefit from observing and assisting in our programs. A graduate student in social work describes her learning through assisting our Home In The Arts instructor working with Somali Bantu refugees in conjunction with the Visiting Nurses Association this way:
“Following a play-based curriculum so closely aligned with standards set forth by national and state education programs, VSAVT has given these children a foundation for learning that most are unlikely to receive in any other program. I’ve been honored and fortunate to work with VSA instructor Melinda White Bronson as part of my internship as I seek my Master of Social Work degree. I speak enthusiastically of this amazing collaboration whenever I have the opportunity.”
Staff at the Visiting Nurses Association agree:
“The literacy, nutrition, health and social supports available through the VNA are greatly enhanced by the hands-on, experiential arts activities brought to the program through VSA Arts of Vermont.”
Sara Sinott, Family Literacy Coordinator