Primary tabs

Cultural Alliance Awards $11,500 to Pre-K Arts Programs

PHILADELPHIA – September 6, 2017 – Two programs that have successfully infused early learning with arts and culture in ways that spark young children’s creativity will receive awards this fall as part of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s Arts and Pre-K Excellence Awards.

“The Arts and Pre-K Excellence Awards recognize innovative Pre-K programming here in Philadelphia,” says Cultural Alliance president Maud Lyon. “Thanks to the Kenney administration’s emphasis on Pre-K, Philadelphians can clearly see the importance of early childhood education, and nowhere is that more evident than in the programs we’re highlighting through the Arts and Pre-K Excellence Awards. We hope these awards, along with our research report Agenda: Pre-K, inspire more Pre-K providers to embrace arts-based learning.”

The Kaleidoscope Preschool Arts Enrichment Program, part of Settlement Music School, and winner of the $3,500 Pre-K Provider award, is a nationally recognized preschool that features an innovative arts-integrated curriculum. With its award, Kaleidoscope will fund professional development opportunities for its teachers and field trips for its students.

“Settlement Music School is most grateful to have been named the recipient of the Pre-K Excellence Award from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance,” said Tarrell Davis, Director of Early Childhood Programs at Settlement. “We are incredibly proud of the curriculum we developed for our Kaleidoscope Preschool Arts Enrichment Program and it is a joy to see firsthand the impact that music, art, and creative movement can have on our youngest learners. The arts are truly transformational. To be recognized for our groundbreaking work in this field is a deep honor.”

Kaleidoscope Preschool Arts Enrichment Program is a nationally recognized preschool that features an innovative arts-integrated curriculum. Founded in 1990, the program serves over 100 children annually, most of whom meet Head Start income standards. Kaleidoscope is housed in the South Philadelphia and Germantown branches of Settlement Music School, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community music schools. Kaleidoscope develops skills and knowledge in literacy, math and social awareness through active, developmentally appropriate learning in music, creative movement and visual art. The program includes a nutrition program, neighborhood trips and outdoor play and offers opportunities for parent volunteers. Teachers are credentialed and have master’s degrees and professional experience in their artistic discipline. The program is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and has earned Four Stars in Pennsylvania’s Keystone Stars Program, its highest rating. Kaleidoscope was awarded a Coming Up Taller Award by the President's Council on the Arts and Humanities in 1998.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is receiving an $8,000 award to develop an early literacy program with the People’s Emergency Center that will provide opportunities for creative play and positive bonding to children in Powelton Village who are experiencing the stress of homelessness. The award will also support professional development for museum staff on the topic of trauma-informed care.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art annually serves over 5,700 children between the ages of 0 and 5 along with their caregivers through a suite of early childhood programs, intergenerational initiatives and community partnerships. All programs are in alignment with school curriculum standards and museum education best practices. The museum’s early childhood programs focus on bonded experiences, learning together with teachers, parents, caregivers and older siblings, and are designed to stimulate the brains of young learners, model positive adult and child interactions and create experiences in shared delight. Specific programs include: Museum Looks and Picture Books (ages 3-5), which uses picture books to help early learners practice essential vocabulary building and pre-literacy skills; Teacher Workshops, which use gallery activities and art projects inspired by the museum's permanent collection to help Pre-K teachers develop new, creative ideas for their classrooms; Words-at-Play Vocabulary Initiative, which promotes early vocabulary growth in low to moderate income children in North Philadelphia; Early Bird Read and Look (ages 3-5), which encourages family togetherness through brief art tours and hands-on art making; Stroller Tours, which help new parents to stimulate the senses of very young children; Baby Bird Playdate (ages 1-2), where children sing together, look at artwork using movement and tactile materials, and complete a studio activity that encourages group socialization.

The Arts and Pre-K Excellence Awards are presented in partnership with Public Citizens for Children & Youth and with lead support from PECO. The members of the awards review panel, all of whom are experts in early childhood education, were: Victoria Ankrah, Acelero; Eleanor Brown, West Chester University; Diane Castelbuono, School District of Philadelphia; Kathy Hirsh-Pacek, Temple University; Ann O’Brien, Montgomery Early Learning Centers; Karen Pollack, Maternity Care Coalition; Lola Rooney, Philadelphia YMCA; Betsy Vassallo, Southeast Regional Key; and Barbara Wasik, Temple University.

“We are proud to support the Arts and Pre-K Excellence Awards,” says Romona Riscoe Benson, Director of Corporate Relations at PECO. “They celebrate the intersection of two of our core community priorities – the arts and education – through a special focus on our youngest residents and the people who care for them.”

The Arts and Pre-K Excellence Awards are part of the Cultural Alliance’s Agenda: Pre-K initiative, which documents how arts-based learning positively impacts the physical, social and cognitive well-being of young children and sets them on a solid path to becoming better learners and citizens. Additional major support for Agenda: Pre-K has been provided by PNC Grow Up Great.

Established in 1972, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance is the region’s leading arts and cultural advocacy, research and marketing organization. Our mission is to “lead, strengthen and amplify the voices of a cultural community that ignites creativity, inspires people and is essential for a healthy region.” Our membership includes over 450 organizations ranging from museums and dance companies to community art centers, historic sites, music ensembles and zoos. For more information on the Cultural Alliance, please visit