sparkSpringville Center for the Arts will launch Spark!, a new education program designed for ages 2-5. The goal of the program is to improve overall learning and creative problem-solving skills through contact with the arts. Children will meet twice a week, year round, following the school calendar.

The program is influenced by the approach used in the Reggio Emilia region of Italy, which stresses play, curiosity, long-term projects vs. subjects, the many languages of children, peer-to-peer learning, teachers as partners, the learning environment, and respect for the potential of the child.

Springville Center for the Arts is a multi-arts center that presents performances, exhibitions, education and other arts programs. As a catalyst for creative inspiration and development, SCA encourages direct participation in the arts by all segments of our community.

Spark! is cooperative in nature, and parents of participating children are not only involved in the program as assistants but are required to provide governance and attend regular meetings. Parents who cannot provide approximately 12 hours of in-class time over the course of the semester will be able to assist in other ways.

Spark! will have a dedicated teacher who facilitates learning and oversees the activity. Katie Kelly, formerly of the Burchfield-Penney and the new SCA education coordinator, will oversee the program in consultation with a parental advisory board.

Spark! links current programming at SCA to topics explored in the program for children. This could be locally produced content such as plays or exhibits but also, with the increasing frequency of visiting artists-in-residence, the program pairs accomplished artists and world-class creative thinkers with preschoolers.

The program was a recipient of a $500 Springville-Griffith Community Education Foundation mini grant this summer. Funds will be used to buy easels, musical instruments and other toddler-friendly art supplies.

A group of parents met regularly over the summer to create the program and expressed a desire for their children to have, “a space for dreaming and learning at their own pace with exposure to different people and expertise.” Specific programming ideas such as healthy eating, cooking, dress up and drama, field trips, multi-generational involvement and more will be incorporated.

Springville Center for the Arts has two dedicated workshop spaces under construction. One at Art’s Café is designed for messy projects and includes a full pottery studio. The other, located at the Center, will be designed with this age group in mind and will serve as the regular location. For now, the program will meet at Arts Underground at 66 East Main St. in Springville.

A registration form is available online at The semester begins Sept. 10. The fee is $35 weekly. For more information, contact Katie Kelly at (716) 592-9038.

Springville Center for the Arts, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable organization.