The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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September 23, 2012

Kids explore creative interests at festival

BEAVER — Across the grass field, kids were hurrying from station to station, sitting in the grass enjoying cotton candy, or discussing the instruments they discovered at the second annual Creative Kids Festival Saturday at the School of Harmony in Beaver.

From girls grouped together taking turns doing cartwheels and round-offs to those taking hay rides, in each direction, youngsters were enjoying the warm weather and just being kids.

All the while, pleasantly discordant sounds emanated from the Instrument Zoo, a place for kids to try out percussion, brass and stringed instruments.

Rebecca Beckett, resident artist with the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia, spent the day helping kids make clay creations out of self-drying clay to take home.

Even though it wasn’t the cleanest of crafts, she said sometimes life’s messes lead to meaningful life experiences.

Beckett also noted that the turnout for the festival was significantly more than last year.

Also there to meet and greet the kids was Sherrie Hunter with the Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority.

Hunter gave parents and kids ideas on a variety of crafts that can be made with trash or recyclables.

“It is a wonderful festival. I am very pleased, and I’ll attend next year,” said Amanda Acord of Coal City. “I think a festival like this really lets kids explore different things to see what their interests are, from animals to arts to crafts to food to music. It just has everything.”

Kim Otte of Beckley was particularly impressed with the Instrument Zoo.

“Allowing the children to experience musical instruments is a wonderful way for students to discover music and for the school to get more students,” she said.

Otte’s son was adamant that the hay ride was also a lot of fun.

Debra Lanna of Beckley said her daughter has just begun taking dance classes through the School of Harmony.

“We are just learning what an asset the School of Harmony is to our community. I wanted to come out and support them,” Lanna said.

The School of Harmony, located in the old Shady Spring Junior High building, began in 2005 and today offers classes in music, art and dance.

For more information, visit www.schoolofharmony.com or call 304-253-3095.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com

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