Today we’d like to introduce you to Tina Moran.
Tina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I always knew I was born to teach. Taking a different direction after college, I found myself in advertising. Forward many years later, while my children were in preschool, I was asked to teach movement classes at their school. The director gave me the freedom to “put my own signature” on classes for their 66 students. Slightly terrified, but loving the challenge and the chance to work with children, I jumped in head first. Relying on my earlier experiences and incorporating my love of literature, I designed a multi-sensory program weaving great stories with music, movement, drama and art. It was an instant hit! Parents and children asked for more and before I knew it, I had a business, a brand and a studio in Winchester Center.
Little by little, I added an incredible staff, new classes and Storybook Workshop now has grown to over 150 students. We hope we give children of this tech age a chance to have a classic childhood experience!
Has it been a smooth road?
It’s not always been a smooth road. I relied heavily on my gut instinct to grow my program slowly. As we grew, I constantly had to reassess, listen to the needs of our families, and be willing to try new things without compromising our main philosophy. I took a few of creative risks and wasn’t particularly afraid to fail.
I believe the biggest struggle has been to remain true to age-appropriate creative programming for children. Keeping things simple, fresh while continuing to be a memorable learning experience for all the children in our program.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Storybook Workshop story. Tell us more about the business.
We offer creative classes rich in language and active learning for children 15 months- age 9. Wiggle with Me! for 15 months- age 3, Library Lunch for 3-5-year-olds, Storybook Workshop for 3.5-5-year-olds, Readers’ Theater for kindergarten and 1st graders and Puppet Workshop for K, 1st-3rd grades.
A tremendous amount of learning happens in the early years of a child’s life. In order to think creatively and understand the written word, children need to acquire good language skills, motivation and self-control to read. We immerse children in an environment that creates a love of books and stories. Listening to a story and then becoming a character empowers children to understand a story more intimately and enables them to use expressive language. Adding to our drama play, we also utilize art, movement games and yoga for further engagement of each story. In this day of “screen learning”, our program is even more important than ever to foster a love of reading through active and creative learning.
We specialize in creating programs fostering a strong foundation for literacy. Starting with the best in children’s literature, our curriculum combines, music, movement, drama, art with physical activity. Our time-tested method of playful expression engages children giving them a multi-sensory experience. We focus on reading comprehension, phonemic awareness, problem-solving, memory strength and social skills.
We are known for unique quality programming for children that is developmentally appropriate, enriching and incredibly fun!
I am most proud of two things:
- Our longevity (we’ve been engaging children since 1995). I have seen a slew of businesses come and go but we have remained popular for 23 years.
- Our work with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
We created the very successful Gingerbread Workshop Fundraiser for the Jimmy Fund Clinic raising money for children with cancer. We have raised almost $70,000.00 in the last four years.
Our well educated and nurturing staff sets us apart from other programs!
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Childhood experiences and families are changing rapidly… Schools are offering less and less of the arts. “Real” school is starting at a younger age and school days are becoming longer. Childhoods are shorter. The fundamental Storybook Workshop philosophy encourages us all to think back to a simpler time when early childhood learning focused on being a child.
- Website: storybookworkshop.org
- Email: email@example.com