"Young children respond to gestures and movement before they react to the spoken word. They understand and explore sound before they learn to speak. They draw pictures before they form letters. They dance and act out stories before they learn to read."


Lucy School hosting a Professional Development Institute for teachers on Monday, March 6, 2017:

Integrating the arts into early childhood literacy development. 

Click here to find more details!




Lucy School Presents An Upcoming Training Opportunity:

Integrating the Arts into the Early Childhood Curriculum: 
A Powerful Medium for Young Children 


Stay tuned for the dates for Summer 2017!

Relax, Recreate and Learn this Summer


Spend five delicious summer days in the cool tranquility of a 17 acre farm in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the stimulation of a state-of-the-art arts-based school and teacher training center.

Download the Registration Form from last year.


During this week-long participatory retreat, Sarah Pleydell and Victoria Brown, two master teacher/artists will help you:

  • Attain academic goals and standards through arts-based teaching strategies
  • Which promote social and emotional development and motivate learning
  • Awaken the artistic educator in yourself


Teachers will discover how to:

  • Integrate the arts as a dynamic learning medium for children that accommodates curricular demands while nurturing the need for play and active learning
  • Integrate sign language and other multisensory experiences
  • Adapt arts activities to accommodate and integrate children with special needs
  • Use the arts as an holistic approach to maximize learning throughout the curriculum


Why the Arts?

For all children, at all ability levels, the arts play a central role in cognitive, motor, language, and social-emotional development. The arts motivate and engage children in learning, stimulate memory and facilitate understanding, enhance symbolic communication, promote relationships, and provide an avenue of building competence. Young Children and the Arts: Making Creative Connections


Children emerge as communicators, problem solvers and humanitarians through holistic experiences. The arts provide a unique multi-dimensional medium for early learning. Drama, movement, dance, music and visual arts communicate to young children in their own language - the language of make-believe. Their curiosity is stirred, questions arise, ideas are shared, and language is expanded and practiced. What's more, when children participate in creative arts activities infused with literacy, their interest in and awareness of reading and reading-related activities increases.


Finally, young children learn through the arts because they are participatory and fun!


Program. Through multisensory hands-on arts experiences in drama, creative movement, music, and visual arts, participants will experience the rich linguistic and cognitive potential of using the arts as a learning medium. We will work largely with children's literature, exploring how the arts may be used to deepen student's understanding of plot, character and theme. Along the way we will pause to analyze key strategies and techniques for transferring and broadening this work in the teachers' own classrooms.

Classes will take place in Lucy School's large gathering room in a magnificently renovated barn overlooking scenic Willow Tree Pond.


Instructors, Victoria Brown, Ph.D. and Sarah Pleydell, M.F.A. have over fifty years hands-on teaching experience integrating the arts into the early childhood curriculum. They are co-authors of the award-winning book The Dramatic Difference: Drama in the Preschool and Kindergarten Classroom (2000), Heinemann Press. For more than twenty years they have presented keynote addresses and conducted master workshops at conferences nationwide for the National Head Start Bureau, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education and Wolf Trap's Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. Sarah is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Maryland and Victoria is founder and director of Lucy School: An Arts Based School (pre-school through fifth grade) and Teacher Training Center in Middletown, MD.


Have you noticed how much satisfaction children get through engaging a parent in their play? And how an astute parent can use occasions of heightened imagination subtly to drop in extra information, extend the range of vocabulary, or pose a problem? Victoria Brown and Sarah Pleydell have developed a pedagogic style that harnesses this special child/parent teaching moment by establishing that the teacher is a necessary part of the class' dramatic invention.
- Gavin Bolton, Professor at Victoria University in British Colombia.


Lucy School. Serving children from birth to middle school and adults who care for young children, Lucy School's mission is to develop, teach and promote creative arts methodology and practices --- drama, creative movement, dance, puppetry, music and visual arts --- that will stimulate and enhance the intellectual, emotional, physical, social, aesthetic and creative development of young children. Lucy School offers workshops & training seminars for teachers, administrators, child-care practitioners, artists and parents. 


Lucy School is an early-childhood, arts-based school founded in 2002.  Our campus is located on a 17-acre farm in Frederick County, MD.  Lucy School's primary building (also home to our art and music studios) is certified as LEED for Schools Platinum building by the US Green Building Council, the first such designation for a school in the State of Maryland.  A 19th century barn has been renovated into a state of the art facility for our preschool programs.  Through carefully designed use of natural light and warm colors and attention to flexible spaces and cozy corners, children are provided with a living-learning environment that is homey-comfortable and at the same time inspires curiosity and love for play, imagination and learning.


Years of planning and experience have gone into the creation of this innovative arts-based program.  The curriculum has evolved out of more than twenty years of research, testing and demonstration of concepts and practices that best develop the capacities of children to learn and flourish.  Learn more about the Lucy School from this short video clip.


Credit. Teachers completing this intensive course may receive up to three (3) Maryland Department of Education (MSDE) Continuing Education Credits (CPE). Teachers taking the course for MSDE/CPE credit are required to participate fully in all class sessions and to complete a written assignment.


Lodging. For out of town participants, a limited amount of lodging is available at the Lucy School Farmhouse, a 19th century farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.


Registration Information. Registration forms will be accepted by mail or fax on a first come, first served basis. Registration will be confirmed by email or phone within one week of receipt. Full payment (by check or money order) should be included with the registration form.


Tuition (includes lunches and book): $ 550 (registration prior to June 1, 2016). Tuition increases to $575 for registrations received after this date.
Lodging (5 nights)¦ Single: $200.  Shared, per person: $150


Cancellation with a full refund (minus a $20.00 application fee) may be requested prior to July 15. The Lucy School retains the right to cancel this workshop if there is not a sufficient number registered. Applicants will receive a full refund in this case.


Comments from Previous Summer Institute Attendees:

- I can't think of an educator, or anyone who works with children, who would not benefit from this workshop because of its thorough approach to children's cognitive, emotional, and social needs. - kindergarten teacher

- This workshop should be required for all teachers. The arts are so important - it is truly a part of all our lives. - first grade teacher

- Great training! Lots of ideas, lots of hands on practice.  I am inspired! I liked the gradual movement of presentations that we had to do - planning, sharing small parts, storytelling, etc. It helped me gain confidence. - first grade teacher

- I haven't ever been to a training where I took away as much. - third grade teacher

- Fantastic! Opened so many new ways of viewing the learning experience and integrating the arts effectively. - pre-kindergarten, kindergarten teacher

- It was a remarkable, new experience everyday that brought me joy and excitement about being a teacher again.  A beautiful learning and growth experience. - first grade teacher

- This workshop was unlike others, where "cute" songs and craft ideas are shared.  This workshop was research based and applicable to any and all academic areas. - second grade teacher

- I believe taking this course will help me become a better teacher.  All your ideas will be put into my teacher's tool box. - kindergarten teacher

- This week was a very healthy and inspiring one all around: physically, mentally, spiritually and socially.  You provided a wonderful atmosphere for us to experience and discuss and create.  K-5 reading intervention teacher

- Thorough, engaging, creative, and collaborative. I've learned more in this training than any graduate course I've taken. - early childhood graduate student

Goto Top