BAYarts and BVECPTA connect again

Members of the Bay Village Early Childhood PTA relaxed around a bonfire at BAYarts after their group meeting.

The Bay Village Early Childhood PTA kicked off their season with a meeting at BAYarts. This marked the second year the BVECPTA attended the arts campus as a group event.

For the evening, BAYarts programming director Erin Stack hosted a presentation that included information about the art options for preschool-aged children. Other BAYarts preschool teachers were also on hand to meet with the parents.

After the introductions and presentations were delivered to the 30 mothers of the BVECPTA in attendance, wine, cheese and s'mores were available at the outside bonfires.

Erin Stack and BVECPTA Vice President Lisa Gilmore first connected two years ago. "It seemed natural to let members of their organization see what we have to offer because we're right in their backyard," explains Stack. She feels there's "too much push for early education through classrooms and testing." And in such a technological age, this approximation feels true. She is honed in on keeping education fun for young children. "It's my philosophy, and how I've built this program, that we're letting kids be kids, and teaching through experience."

Higher learning praises this same approach, where quality education programs all offer hands-on learning components. The concept can be boiled down into simple terms: one does not learn to ride a bike in any other way but by riding a bike themselves. To wit, telling children to be playful and creative does very little until they're given the reins to actually go and play in creative ways.

A large part of the preschool-aged classes involve connection to the natural world. Location in the Metroparks has been key in the mix. Stack praises the area. "What we do is very nature-based. Instead of just coloring at a desk, we're able to go outside and run around, go outside to the beach, hike in the woods, spot animals, and go on a real caboose."

Other dynamic aspects of the preschool program include motion and play alongside a music therapist, and giving motor-skills an active work-out in molding clay.

It's not only the children who take advantage of the BAYarts campus now. "At lot of families from the BVECPTA now call this place a home. We see their youngest children in preschool programs, but we also see the parents at our benefits as they support through fundraising and attend fun events like free concerts. They're able to establish a welcoming home here for their families."

Jessica Stockdale


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Volume 8, Issue 20, Posted 10:21 AM, 10.18.2016