MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Parents, grandparents, friends and supporters opened their wallets for a special art show — and a special cause — as the youngsters of MTSU’s Ann Campbell Early Learning Center used their talents to help renovate their playground.
The facility’s 45 youngsters, who range from 13 months to 5 years old, each created four special pieces of art for an “art ransom” event, then invited the community to their Fairview Building “gallery” Nov. 10 to view the artwork, enjoy snacks and purchase each piece for a minimum $5 bid.
The money will be used to renovate the center’s North Baird Lane facility playground, upgrading equipment and creating a natural playscape that’s wheelchair-accessible.
The center also is selling T-shirts through Friday, Nov. 18, to help fund the playground renovations. Anyone who'd like to buy a T-shirt or donate to the ACE Learning Center playground fund can email the center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-898-2458.
“We had so many wonderful people come to see our children’s work, and they were so enthusiastic!” a happy ACE Center Director Christy Davis said.
“It was such a special night for our little ones to be able to express their creativity and for the community to come out and see our artwork and learn about our playground.”
The children, acting as miniature gallery personnel with help from volunteers from Siegel High School’s chapter of the Excalibur National Honor Society, showed the adults around “the Big Room” at the center’s Fairview Building site, pointing out their handprint plates, canvas paintings, special booklets and custom photo frames on display alongside their friends’ pieces.
They watched excitedly as the grownup art connoisseurs cooed over each piece, gladly offering tidy sums for new works to adorn refrigerators, walls, tables and workplace desks.
MTSU’s ACE Learning Center provides learning environments for children with and without developmental delays from age 12 months to kindergarten, allowing them to play together and learn from each other. Teachers at the center plan activities that help each child develop good communication, social, cognitive and motor skills.