Students Collaborate to Create Early Learning Trail at Community Park

Lebanon Valley College early childhood education students celebrate the opening of the Basics Learning Trail

Young children and their families at the Cleona Community Park can now experience an active and exciting new way to learn, thanks to a community collaboration that included students and staff at Lebanon Valley College.

The Basics Learning Trail, unveiled during a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony, consists of five interactive learning stations related to early childhood brain development.

Jen Liedtka ’92, M’00, LVC’s service and volunteerism coordinator, contacted Jen Kuntz ’03, assistant professor of education, who engaged students in her Child Wellness course to create the educational content for the trail.

“In the classroom, we learn how children develop physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally. We also learn about the most effective ways students learn. This project allowed us to tie all those ideas together,” said Brooke Polly ’24, an early childhood education major.

“The different sections of the trail cover all the stages of development. Young children engage in physical movement, interact with their caregivers, and have fun! They get to participate in activities that are very hands-on and engaging. This trail is an excellent representation of our accumulated class knowledge,” added Polly.

Kayla Border ’24, a double major in digital communications and creative arts, brought the visual elements of the trail to life.

“As someone passionate about promoting the significance of art and community engagement to younger generations, I am honored to have been selected to collaborate with a diverse group of individuals on this project. Creating the Basics Learning Trail has enabled me to exhibit my proficiency in crafting an innovative approach by strategizing design layouts and art that are engaging and enjoyable for the community,” said Border, who focuses on graphic design.

Each student involved in the project recognized the lasting impact that this project will have on the community.

“One of the biggest takeaways from this experience that will enhance my future career is the networking and impact that we can make as educators,” said Megan Eberly ’24, a dual major in early childhood and special education. “Working with so many different organizations in Lebanon County helped me see how when we all come together, we can create amazing opportunities for students and families in the community.”

Along with LVC and the Cleona Borough Parks and Recreation Board, the Community Health Council of Lebanon County, Lebanon Family Health Services, Domestic Violence Intervention, and United Way partnered to make the trail a reality.


Lebanon Valley College education students designed basics learning trail.

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