BMCU’s Literacy on the Lawn happened recently, bringing many young students to campus. Dr. Barbara Bowen states that this is an event for kindergarten students from North and South Tippah schools, mentioning that this year’s theme is “community helpers”. Two groups of children came to campus, each one rotating through the day’s scheduled events. Dr. Bowen mentions that Literacy on the Lawn is a group effort of several different organizations, saying, “This [event is] funded by the TARGET (Tippah and Ripley Growing Excellent Together) grant and the silent auction that is organized by KDP- the educational honor society; also, The Department of Education (faculty and students), various staff from other departments, and many BMC students will come together and participate in this event.”
Several activities are offered around campus for the kindergarten students to enjoy, including, “a read-aloud, a reader's theater put on by the Department of Fine Arts, a police area sponsored by the Blue Mountain Police Department, a fire truck area sponsored by the Blue Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, and an art station sponsored by the BMCU Department of Education.” All these opportunities give young students an exciting day around campus and lots of new experiences as they continue to learn about literacy.
One of the main attractions of the day is the play that students attend in Garrett Hall. The play was put on by the Blue Mountain Christian University theater department. The seats were full of children interacting with the characters on stage. The production was directed by Kylie Fink and included several other characters as well.
The play began by introducing the students to concepts dealing with putting on a production, such as the role of a director. The stage was set with balloons and glittery boards filled with paintings and pictures of possible career choices for the young students. After the introduction, the cast came out, dressed in colorful costumes. The BMCU students did a wonderful job of engaging their young viewers and allowed them to respond to the characters by dancing and answering questions.
The BMCU Literacy on the Lawn event concluded with gifts given to all the participating students and teachers. Dr. Bowen states, “At the end of their time at BMCU, each kindergartener will receive a gift bag containing one book and other literacy related materials. In addition, each teacher will receive a package containing ten different books about a variety of community helpers and other activities that are related to the theme.” These gifts will give students and teachers the opportunities to continue to learn about future career options while practicing the literary skills encouraged at the event.