Research has shown time and time again that FUN is not simply silly, but actually improves learning and cognition!
When kids are doing fun hands-on activities, especially with people they trust and care about, they are taking in information through multiple senses, and that congruence creates rich memories. In other words- learning sticks!
Creating places of beauty and fun interactions in our urban spaces should be a priority! And in #beaverfalls we are making it one through our Playful Learning Initiative.
The decision to invest in Playful Learning Landscapes arose while hosting the learning pods during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeing the need for early language and math skills at pre-reading and early grade levels, we believe that using art to playfully integrate learning goals into the built environment will be an equitable and accessible solution for our community's learners.
Through the Arts Equity Reimagined grant from New Sun Rising, we are able to both support local artists and connect the arts and education ecosystems in fun ways to promote more equitable learning. Playful Learning Landscapes is an evidence-based model that has been widely tested in Philadelphia and around the world. And they learned that transforming public spaces like supermarkets, laundromats, and parks with well-designed games truly support children’s development! How cool is that!
These Playful Learning Landscapes will focus on multigenerational communication, collaboration, and social interactions known to support learning. In addition, innovative artful and playful learning in high-traffic areas creates community equity and is especially urgent as a response to the learning losses experienced by many students during COVID-19.
So, think about this . . . Playful Learning Landscapes have the potential to give all children access to high-quality environments that will help them in the future.
Beaver Falls will be the future location of 3 Playful Learning Landscape installations in 2022, created by local artists.
We can't wait to play all day . . .
Trail Ministries Tuesdays @ Neighborhood North
Our schedule may change - check out our Event Calendar for updates on all space activities
NEIGHBORHOOD LEARNING PODS
In the summer of 2020, in response to COVID-19, Neighborhood North was the driving partner in offering the Community Summer Learning Program, which provided tutoring, STEM activities, and family engagement programs to students and their parents living in local public housing. Trails Ministries would normally have offered summer camp activities to this population, but instead we worked together to help these vulnerable students. The other partner was Big Beaver School District, which provided teachers for tutoring. This same trio of partners supported students in Learning Pods throughout the 2020-21 academic year. Neighborhood North opened a physical space during COVID to provide a space to host our Learning Pods to serve students in the Beaver Falls school district who needed academic and structural support during COVID. NN worked with educators and researchers to develop a plan for evaluating our work to demonstrate change in children’s learning. (With this current programming, staff was able to review changes in students’ DIBEL reading scores to determine the effectiveness of our models.). NN hired a teaching artist and integrated arts and STEM programming into the academic structure of our Learning Pods, serving nearly 100 at-risk students in our Learning Pods during the 2020-21 academic year.
Starting January 31, 2022:
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