GRANT 198:

Musical Playground

06/20/2016

Innovative, state-of-the-art solutions to help children learn and grow.

Giant musical playground instruments? Yes, please! But wait – there’s more to it.  In Rural southwestern Maine sits a tiny 4-room schoolhouse built in the 1950s, serving 212 students. Given the economic and social factors of the region, there’s a 20% special education services rate, giving special needs children one of the few opportunities in the area to learn social skills. The school’s goal is to be as inclusive as possible when it comes to special needs students including those with physical and behavioral impairments.

Enter Percussion Play – a large outdoor musical playground installation aimed to help children learn and grow at Acton Elementary. How? The instruments can provide auditory clues to help students with visual impairments determine where they are on the playground, what the layout is, and where other children are at any given time. All children can use and enjoy these instruments, ensuring that all children can play together – not just alongside each other. Research shows that group play is critical to the healthy growth and development of children, while active music-making experiences can improve functioning in several developmental areas for students with visual impairments. Children don’t realize that they are also learning and practicing non-musical skills, such as turn-taking, joint attention, and visual imitation, all while having fun together.

We are delighted that Acton Elementary will use our AWB grant to purchase a Fun And Colorful Conga Outdoor Drum!