Towson University and Port Discovery Children’s Museum have been awarded a $17,000 grant by the PNC Foundation to launch Moving to Learn: Grow Up Great with Dance and Science.
The program integrates developmentally appropriate dance methodologies with key concepts in pre-K standards in environmental science that improve school readiness and science proficiency for children ages 2 through 5 years old.
Moving to Learn is funded as part of PNC Grow Up Great, a $350 million, multi-year bilingual initiative that helps prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.
The curriculum was designed by Towson University’s Department of Dance’s K-12 Education Program and Towson University Community Dance, using concepts that are part of the Maryland public school curricula.
Led by certified dance instructors and interns from Towson University’s dance education department, the instructors use dance and movement to help children investigate the Earth’s resources and to recognize the cause and effect relationship.
The program kicked off at the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in downtown Baltimore earlier this month. Led by Towson University dance instructors, preschoolers from Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary performed a “tree dance” as they explored cyclical patterns in nature. Through movement and dance, the children were able to compare the cycle of their day to the cycle of a tree’s seasons.
“Through the Moving to Learn program, we are transforming STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), providing our youngest learners with an arts infused “leg up” in school readiness,” says Jaye Knutson, a Towson University dance professor.