Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Extreme Office Makeover: Student Remodels Area Children's Services Facilities

Anna, Ken, and Parker Wilson
Anna Wilson has a heart for children, and she's putting that love into action with her work in Vol State's Early Childhood Education program. Recently, Wilson performed a makeover on the waiting rooms in two area children's services facilities by providing a place where kids can be kids.

As part of Wilson's assignment in her initial Early Childhood Education practicum, she was required to remodel a center in an early childhood setting. As a foster mom and someone who runs an in-home daycare, Wilson saw a need for something different in the waiting rooms of area facilities. To meet that need, Wilson decided to contact the Cheatham County Department of Children's Services with an idea to make the waiting room a more inviting space for the many children who go in and out of the building all day.

"I felt like it was a great opportunity to do something outside the box. I had been in several different meetings where all of the children were required to be there and they were going insane," she said.
The office before the makeover.

Starting at the Cheatham County office, Wilson cleaned out the toy box, reorganized things, and separated the toys based on age. She then added puzzles, art sets, workbooks, stuffed animals, and a calm-down kit. A "cozy corner" was also added to encourage parental involvement.

"There was nothing set up in a way that promoted play or helped them become comfortable in that room. It's supposed to be a visitation room with parents, and the room was not set up in a way that was conducive to encourage parental involvement with the children at all," she said.

The office after things were added and tidied up.
The remodeled waiting room was so successful, Wilson performed a second makeover at the Robertson County office. The project's success gave Wilson the chance to practice what she was learning in her classes, which is something instructor Penny Duncan was hoping for when she assigned the project to her students.

"It demonstrates that she's an advocate for young children. She has compassion and integrity that's above and beyond a lot of students that I see. It shows that she wants to make a difference in the community that she lives in to help kids," Duncan said.

For Wilson, the chance to make a difference in the lives of any child is worth the work she put into the project.

More materials added to the waiting room.
"I felt like this project was really special to me, because it's something that needed to be done. It was something I was proud to do, and I knew it would affect children that were in my home directly, and that's a really cool feeling," she said.

No comments: