MESA, Ariz. – An all-new ArtVille Academy returns to the i.d.e.a. Museum in August. The early learning program — designed to help prepare little ones for a smooth transition into school – now includes extra lessons over 8 weeks. The engaging curriculum combines literacy, art, science and math for children ages 3-5.

Classes take place from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Thursdays. Two sessions are planned for Aug. 16 – Oct. 4 and Oct. 18 – Dec. 13 (no class on Nov. 22).

"We’re thrilled to offer an 8-week session that coincides with the school quarters," said Dena Milliron, curator of education for the museum. "And we’re proud to be partners for parents who want their children to enter school prepared to learn, so they are successful and enjoy school.”

ArtVille Academy features weekly themes and activities to inspire a curiosity for learning while developing skills needed to be ready for school. Gallery educators will lead lessons that give students the opportunity to interact socially, build language and communication skills, engage in outdoor and imaginative play, and become familiar with school structure and routines.

"We’re proud to be partners for parents who want their children to enter school prepared to learn, so they are successful and enjoy school,” said Dena Milliron, curator of education for the museum.

The program – launched in 2017 - developed from a pilot program, called Skill Builders, which featured activities such as lacing, counting and color sorting. Feedback from participants and educators continue to help shape ArtVille Academy’s lessons.

The school readiness series is another effort by the museum to support early childhood development and learning, which includes being a partner in Mesa K-Ready, a community collaborative and one-stop shop for families seeking early-learning resources. The museum also offers several art and STEAM-based workshops to nurture creative thinking in little ones, as well as features an unstructured imaginative play gallery, known as ArtVille.

Learn more about ArtVille, the museum’s socks-only space for children ages 0-4: Ideamuseum.org