Early Bridges: Impact of a Preschool Theatre Arts Program on Low Income preschoolers’ School Readiness Skills

$310,570 over three years

The aim of this project is to conduct a randomized control program evaluation study to document the potential direct and moderated impact of a preschool theatre arts program, Early Bridges (EB), on the school readiness of ethnically diverse, low income preschoolers, including English language learners. We will examine the impact on oral language (storytelling), theatre arts and learning-related social skills, and play, and examine whether different groups of pre-K students benefit from EB differently from other groups of pre-K students (e.g., ELL vs. non-ELL). Early Bridges is a program of the Children’s Theatre Company, located in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Amy Susman-Stillman, Principal Investigator, and Dr. Michelle Englund, co-Principal Investigator, are both at the Center for Early Education and Development, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota.