Troy students host special hunt
Published 3:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2016
The Easter Bunny himself could not have provided more fun and excitement for 36 youngsters from the Hank Jones Early Childhood Center than Dr. Candice Shaughnessy’s Motor Development class at Troy University provided Wednesday.
Shaughnessy’s students planned and supervised an Easter egg hunt for three pre-school classes and a self-contained special education class at Murphree Park. The university students are pursuing careers in heath education, physical education and human services. As a part of the motor development class in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Promotion, the students conduct a perceptual motor program at the ECC three days a week. They plan and organize events for the students, including the Easter egg hunt.
Fifteen university students participated in the egg hunt by hiding 468 eggs for the children to hunt and find.
Toni Branson, pre-school teacher, said the children look forward to the Easter egg hunt each year and this year’s hunt was even more exciting.
“In the past, the Easter egg hunt has been on the school grounds,” she said. “But having in here at Murphree Park has been a special treat. The Troy University students have done an outstanding job planning and preparing for the Easter egg hunt and the children love being at the park.” Branson said the having the university students in the classroom is a huge benefit for pre-schoolers.
“Not only do the university students work with the children on motor development, they also incorporate academics into the program,” Branson said.
“They include counting games and games that teach shapes and colors. The children always look forward to ‘Miss Candi and the kids’ coming.”
And “Miss Candi’s kids” look forward to their time at the ECC. “Being involved with the little kids reassures me in my career choice,” said Carly Parrish of Hoover. “I believe we are making a positive difference in the lives of these kids. The hugs and smiles make it all worthwhile. And, being here doing this. Wow! It warms your heart.”
Bradley Crenshaw from Ariton was looking for a new direction in his life and took a turn toward physical education. “I’ll be qualified to teach K-12 but my preference will be the upper grades,” he said.
“I’ve been surprised how much I have enjoyed working with this age group. It’s been a real learning experience working with them on specific skills to improve their motor develop. We’ve all benefited from this class.”
Following the egg hunt, the students enjoyed a picnic lunch at the park. Open house for the Hank Jones Early Childhood Center is Sunday, April 10.
Preschool Open house is from 4-5:30 p.m. and kindergarten is from 2-3:30 p.m.