About Us

We are an Arlington-based educational company dedicated exclusively to arts integration.  Together, we use play to help students explore the performing and visual arts, make new friends, and (secretly) learn some school skills along the way! 

While the pandemic ebbs and flows, our programming will only grow.  Join us as we support our itty bittiest learners and teach them how to soar! 


Soaring Starts Early Learning & Arts (SSELA) is dedicated to bringing children ages 0-10 the joyful, creative, play-based learning experiences they need to truly soar as artists, innovators, friends, and individuals.

Educational Philosophy

Soaring Starts Early Learning & Arts (SSELA) is focused on arts integration learning and experiences. We specialize in putting equal emphasis on arts objectives, academic skills, and social/emotional skills. 

We use this approach because our work is based in the body of science known as embodied cognition. Embodied cognition is the understanding that when an individual engages multiple senses and learning styles while experiencing something new, they are also engaging multiple cortexes in their brain. This kind of learning helps a person learn things faster and better, encouraging deeper connections with the material and helping them remember it longer.

Using this approach to create a playful, social, and inviting environment, our practices and curricula challenge students and patrons at their current developmental level. We aim to help students and patrons think creatively and critically about what they see, work collaboratively to dig deeper, and act and speak with empathy and intention. We encourage children to wonder, make predictions, ask questions, support each other, and more. These practices bolster students, their families, and our greater community, resulting in a more innovative, perceptive, and emotionally intelligent community of thinkers.

Our Thanksgiving 2021 Statement 

Thanksgiving is a day of deep appreciation. It is also a holiday with complicated implications and some rocky, if not violent, roots. For Soaring Starts, this means it is also an opportunity to reflect on past actions and renew our commitment to growing a safe, strong, and accepting community. 

We are so, so, so very grateful to every person that has shared their child and their hearts with us this past year. Together we have built a community of thoughtful, creative, and mindful students and families. But there is still more work to be done. 

On Thanksgiving 2021, Founding Director Stacy Steyaert released a public statement that dives further into who we are. It addressed how we aim to create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, and how this work starts with acknowledging that we are settlers on the ancestral, unceded lands of Indigenous Peoples. Please click here for our full statement, and stay tuned for more big news to come!