Early Childhood Residencies

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Early childhood mini-residencies provide imaginative, engaging, sequential learning experiences for children ages 3–5 and their teachers over the course of four classroom sessions. Students express themselves creatively and master basic academic and life skills in fun, developmentally appropriate ways through a series of four arts workshops led by Trust Arts Education professional teaching artists. These mini-residencies provide professional development opportunities for teachers and can be customized to accomodate your center and the needs of your staff. Limited to 20 students (classroom teacher must be present), matching funds for the workshops may be available through our funding partners.

Mini-residencies are $350 each for locations within Allegheny County. Call for pricing for locations outside of Allegheny County.

To schedule please contact Sarah Hamilton at 412-456-2695 or by email.

Joanna Abel

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Giraffes Can Dance

Poor Gerald the Giraffe’s neck was so long and his legs were so thin that the animals made fun of him at the annual Jungle Dance. When a little cricket helps Gerald hear the sounds of nature all around him, he learns to dance, prance and boogie to his own special music! “When you’re different, you just need a different song.” Joanna is a dancer, visual artist and certified art educator.

REQUIREMENTS: Story or circle-time area; tables for art making activity

Jeff Berman

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Reading & Rhythm

Children will discover the rhythm in music and in language as percussionist Jeff Berman guides them in expressing themselves by improvising rhythmic patterns and chants in the book Max Found Two Sticks by J. Brian Pinkney. Jeff is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has performed internationally. He has a BS in Music from the City University of New York.

REQUIREMENTS: Story or circle-time area; percussion instruments, if available; chart paper

Betty Dell

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The Gingerbread Man

The Gingerbread Man will run and run as fast as he can, and when children catch up with him they will have learned lessons in literacy, math, social skills and body movement! Using Eric Kimmel’s version of the classic tale, Betty Dell adds farm animal puppets, movement activities, songs, and dramatic play to create a fun-filled learning experience for preschool-age children

Betty is a children’s theater performer and director, as well as a storyteller and puppeteer. She has a BFA in Theater from Point Park College, and a MS in Psychology in Education from the University of Pittsburgh.

REQUIREMENTS: Large clear space or circle-time area.

Amber Ramsey Fantini

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Billy Goat Fun!

In this music-filled residency, Amber Ramsey Fantini will explore the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Children love to hear this tale, and they will delight in a multitude of movement and musical activities that explore the world of the billy goats...and their neighbor the troll!! Children will practice emergent literacy skills through rhythmic chant, singing and movement. A former elementary music teacher, Amber has a Masters in French Horn Performance from Carnegie Mellon University.

REQUIREMENTS: Large clear space or circle-time area.

Meredith Hoppe

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Pout-Pout Fish

Dive into the deep blue sea through drama and puppetry! During this 4-session residency, students will become storytellers, and through the use of creative drama, movement, and puppetry, help to tell the story of the Pout-Pout Fish! They will meet his friends, explore his home at the bottom of the ocean, and try to figure out how to turn his Pout-Pout frown upside down. Meredith is a theatre artist, director, and educator that holds her MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences.

REQUIREMENTS: Circle or story-time area

The Water Hole

The wonderful world of Graham Base's Water Hole comes to life in this 4-session drama residency that explores what happens when the animal community's water source starts to disappear. Students will use their bodies, voices, and imaginations to dramatize and count the animals and global habitats that depend on the water hole, and work together to solve the problem of the disappearing resource. A great tie in to math and science concepts, the Water Hole is a fun storytelling adventure for all! Meredith is a theatre artist, director, and educator that holds her MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences.

REQUIREMENTS: Circle or story-time area

Joann Kielar

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Go Dog Go

Up, down, in, out, fast, slow — children will learn about concepts and their opposites while asking, “Where are all those dogs going?” Storytelling, music, and visual arts combine in this fun-filled residency culminating in a big dog party. Joann holds an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania.

REQUIREMENTS: Tables with desk space, glue for each child, sink, area to leave projects to dry

Too Much Noise

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Visual artist, puppeteer and storyteller Joann Kielar designs developmentally appropriate visual art projects to enhance and reinforce early literacy components. Her project will focus on the book Now Things Are Worse– A Yiddish Tale. Joann holds an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania.

REQUIREMENTS: Tables with desk space, glue for each child, sink, area to leave projects to dry

Veronica López

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The Surprise Garden

Veronica combines Zoe Hall's story, The Surprise Garden, with songs and rhymes to immerse young learners in an exciting and artful journey through the garden. After selecting shapes, textures and colors children will have fun making a collage garden where they will "grow" their own nutritious and so delicious vegetables. Veronica López is an Art Historian from Argentina who teaches Art and Spanish.

REQUIREMENTS: Large clear space or circle-time area.

Lindsay Woge

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A Perfectly Messed-Up Residency

Children will engage in social-emotional learning through visual art making and storytelling! Lindsay Woge, an accomplished visual artist, brings the story of “A Perfectly Messed-Up Story” to life through exploration of emotions and expressive art making. Louie, the main character, is feeling frustrated, but with strong perseverance and a lot of help from the students in your class, Louie ends up feeling pretty good about his story! Each class will also get to write and illustrate an original keepsake book!

REQUIREMENTS: Story or circle-time area; tables for art making activity

Alison Zapata

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From Head to Toe

Alison and her friend Koko use interactive storytelling, art-making, and movement to inspire reading fun! Children will make personal connections to Eric Carle's From Head to Toe by creating their own book exploring tissue paper collage, stamping, shapes and color. Alison is a professional visual artist and art educator who holds a bachelor's degree in art education from Carlow University.

REQUIREMENTS: Basic art supplies; table and chairs; circle time area.