Some new sounds will ring out from the playground of Early Childhood Connections, thanks to some students from Fort Hays State University.
A team of students from a Leadership 310 Projects class debuted a music wall for the Head Start students at ECC, 305 Main. The youngsters were eager to try it out and see what sounds they could get from the wooden spoons, pots, pans and other items mounted on two wood pallets the 310 team put together.
It’s an addition ECC has wanted for several years, ECC director Donna Hudson-Hamilton, said, and she was pleased with the FHSU students’ work.
“They even thought about the safety,” Hudson-Hamilton said.
The students had Kris Munsch, FHSU assistant professor of applied technology, check their structures before and after mounting them on the playground fence.
“I was real appreciative of that. They thought of the whole process,” Hudson-Hamilton said.
Team member Savannah Rose said the project was paid for through donations from parents, a bake sale and a raffle that included a t-shirt signed by the FHSU football team. Donations were also given by Home Depot, Dillons, Walmart and the FHSU Leadership Department.
“It’s just a fun way to get the community involved and help the kids develop,” Rose said.
The music wall might look simple, but it’s another method of helping the children with their development.
“It’s another way to give the children opportunities for creative expression,” Sharon Beoughter, ECC education coordinator said.
“It’s a time they can come outside and explore different textures and sounds in an appropriate environment. It just adds another one of the senses out here while they’re doing their outdoor play,” Hudson-Hamilton said as the children used wooden spoons or their hands to clang on the brightly painted items.
Team member Blake Wilson was happy to see the kids crowding around the music wall.
“It’s one thing doing the fundraising and building it, but when you see it in use by the kids, it’s a really cool thing,” he said.
“This one seemed like it was for a good cause,” he said of the project. “It was doable with realistic expectations. A lot of them were just fundraising. We wanted to do something that’s going to have an impact,” he said.
Other team members were Hannah Marathon, Amanda Hurl and Taylor Ewalt. The group also provided ECC with $150 and some supplies for maintenance of the music wall.