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Wolf Trap Institute Brings The Arts To County’s Youth

Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artists are working all this week alongside selected educators at Sydnor Jennings, Clays Mill, Meadville and Scottsburg Elementary Schools using the languages of drama, music and movement.

Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a national leader in the performing arts and arts education located in Northern Virginia, is partnering with Halifax County Public Schools to bring its specialized Master Teaching Artists to early childhood classrooms this week.

During the one-week residency with Halifax County Public Schools, three Wolf Trap Institute Teaching Artists are working alongside early childhood educators to develop, refine and evaluate many arts-based lessons that help young children learn basic literacy and academic concepts and life skills.

Nancy Meyer, whose specialty is theater arts, is working with teachers and students at Scottsburg and Clays Mill. Dance artist Amanda Layton is working with teachers and students at Sydnor Jennings. Katherine Lyons, a teaching artist specializing in interactive story drama, is working with teachers and students at Meadville.

“The Wolf Trap Teaching Artists residencies offer pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students from Halifax County an engaging and innovative way to learn in the classroom,” said Miriam C. Flaherty Willis, Wolf Trap Education senior director.

“We hope to impart rewarding learning experiences for as many young children, parents and educators in Halifax County Public Schools as possible,” Willis added. “Valdivia Marshall, the executive director of federal programs for Halifax County Public Schools, has been an invaluable partner in this effort.”

In addition to the weeklong residency, the Wolf Trap artists are conducting professional development workshops for certain elementary educators. The group also conducted a family workshop Monday evening for the community, in support of the school system’s commitment to provide early childhood education training for professional educators, parents and caregivers.

This is the fourth time in five years Halifax County Public Schools has hosted teacher artists from the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning.

“Whenever this time of year rolls around, we get excited about what’s going to happen for our faculty and our students,” said Superintendent Paul Stapleton. “Our faculty and kids come away with such valuable lessons, and we love having the Wolf Trap artists with us for a week each year.”

The residencies are provided in partnership with Halifax County Public Schools as a result of support from individual, foundation and corporate supporters of Wolf Trap Foundation Education Programs.