Tag Archives: South Rome Early Learning Center

Wendy Williams teaching at the SRELC

MAKING CONNECTIONS: Wendy Grace Williams (84C, 90G) is a 2019 recipient of Kindermusik’s “Outreach” award. She is seen here giving a “high-five” to a student at the South Rome Early Learning Center.

Kathryn Nobles teaches Kindermusik

Kathryn Dugger Nobles (82C), right, has been sharing the gift of music with local children and Berry students for 30 years.

Ever wonder about the young children you see walking to and from the Ford Buildings with their parents? No, they aren’t prodigies pursuing Berry degrees – at least not yet – but they are tuning up for success with help from Kathryn Dugger Nobles (82C), Wendy Grace Williams (84C, 90G) and Kindermusik.

This fall marks 30 years since Nobles brought Kindermusik to Berry. What started as a pilot program with nine students from the Berry College Child Development Center has blossomed into multiple classes serving more than 200 children annually at four locations in Rome. Distinguished both by its size and quality of instruction, Berry ranks among the top 25 Kindermusik programs worldwide. In addition, Williams recently received Kindermusik’s “Outreach” award for her work with students at the South Rome Early Learning Center.

On Sept. 14, alumni and friends of the program will join current students and teachers for a special 30th anniversary celebration in Ford Dining Hall. The fun gets underway at 10 a.m. with an “instrument petting zoo” staged by Berry music students and continues through 1 p.m., with activities for the children and a Noon performance by the Viking Drumline. Register online.

Efforts are also underway to name the Kindermusik room in Berry’s newly renovated music department for Nobles, with gifts supporting the ongoing Ford Auditorium renovation and restoration. Visit berry.edu/gift and select “Kathryn Nobles Kindermusik Room Naming” if you wish to contribute.

Originating in Germany in the 1970s, Kindermusik combines a variety of music education methods with the goal of helping children learn. Studying musical concepts helps children gain skills that transfer to other aspects of life. For example, developing steady beat can translate to improved reading fluency, cutting with scissors or even dribbling a basketball.

“Music is such a great avenue for teaching,” Nobles expressed. “It’s universal. You can make music anywhere you go, and there’s not an age limit to it.”

Nobles, who also serves as an adjunct piano instructor for Berry students, has kept up with many of her Kindermusik graduates, proudly noting that some have gone on to careers in music, while others have become organic farmers, doctors or lawyers. Quite a few have returned as parents of children within the program, and some have attended college at Berry.

The program remains a touchstone for many, with families of college-aged children still attending concerts together after meeting through Kindermusik years earlier. And toddlers now in the program continue to wake up and excitedly ask the same question as those who came before them: “Is today a Kindermusik day?”

By student writer Cassie LaJeunesse

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Olivia Paige Instructs Students

Berry student Corley Peth working with children at the South Rome Early Learning Center.

Teachers, parents and children are praising the efforts of Berry students working in the South Rome Early Learning Center, a strategic partnership between Berry, Rome City Schools and the South Rome Redevelopment Corporation. Housed in the new Anna K. Davie Elementary School, the center welcomed its first class of 20 three-year-olds in July, the same month it was fully licensed by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. The center is meant to improve educational opportunities for the children while also providing valuable experience for Berry students. The current staff includes two graduate students in Berry’s Charter School of Education and Human Sciences, one representative of the Bonner Scholars Program and four student workers serving alongside the center director, lead teacher, assistant teacher and office manager/community liaison.

“I like it because it is not just a daycare,” parent Tiara Barrett told the Rome News-Tribune. “They are really learning things and every day [my daughter] comes to me and tells me what they do.”

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