By Bianca Roa   Hello there! It’s Bianca, the new Marketing & Social Media Intern at ECHO, and I’m delighted to bring my voice to...

A Giant in Champ Lane

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By Bianca Roa




 
Hello there! It’s Bianca, the new Marketing & Social Media Intern at ECHO, and I’m delighted to bring my voice to this blog over the next several months. It seems like I’ve started here at the perfect time, because ECHO is going through so many exciting changes! The biggest of those is Champ Lane, the new early educational space opening on Feb. 13.


I had the pleasure of seeing the finished product today, and I must say I am a more than a bit jealous. When I was younger all I ever wanted to do was grow taller and move onto the big kid stuff, but as I walked around the new space I suddenly wished I was five again.


Like in Alice in Wonderland, I felt like I had drank from the bottle and grew into a giant, because the exhibit is designed for ages 0-6 is meant to look like a pint-sized version of Burlington. It features the downtown area, the waterfront, and the rural areas you can see around town, but it makes them more accessible in height to the little ones.


Photos: Bianca Roa


The space includes numerous places to climb and play. There is the tree house that leads to a slide through the forest and a farmer’s market where you can pick your favorite produce. Among my favorite areas is a small boat where you climb into the bridge, put on your sailor’s hat and take the helm.


Photo: Bianca Roa


At the same time Champ Lane infuses learning, as it is one of the core goals of ECHO’s mission. For instance one of the activities you can do is fishing. Children take the rod and their goal is to pick up the little wooden fish with is. The young kids are learning fine motor skills, and they are picking up on social cues. A little sign on the wall reminds parents that if their kid has to wait for a rod, it is teaching them about delayed gratification. This emphasizes patience and teaches them about how to treat other children with kindness.


Photos: Bianca Roa



I love what Champ Lane is teaching the children that visit the exhibit, but as an adult who understands patience and has developed fine motor skills, I would have to say that my favorite part of the entire exhibit is the walls. It was actually the first thing I noticed when I walked in. When you enter the space you are surrounded by beautiful murals by Candy Barr. The colorful scenes alone could entertain me for hours. I loved noticing upon little details in each painting, like finding an animal hiding in a bush or a seeing the Beatles walking across Church Street. The paintings are full of little Vermont inside jokes, so I challenge all you natives so visit and try to find as many as you can!


There is so much to do and to learn from a great space like Champ Lane and I know both this exhibit and the whole of the  ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain will teach me so much this semester. This is just the beginning!



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1 comment:

  1. You are off to a great start at ECHO. I think the teaching will be a two-way street and they are lucky to have you and your talents.

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