Local children were encouraged to embrace their creative side on Saturday as Austin College held its monthly Roo Bound events, aimed at children between kindergarten and eighth grade.

Local children were encouraged to embrace their creative side on Saturday as Austin College held its monthly Roo Bound events, aimed at children between kindergarten and eighth grade.


For February, Roo Bound, an event focused on introducing children to the concept of college and the programs Austin College has to offer, introduced the 53 children in attendance to the College’s art and theater programs. This is the 20th year that the college has offered the student-run program.


The children were given a tour of the Ida Green Communication Center and theater. The tour covered areas that the children likely have seen, including the stage and theater, but also let them explore lesser-known areas like the green room, workshop, and television studio.


The tour of the theater ended in the television studio, where student volunteers led the children in improv games designed to teach children the basics of improvisational skills. The children played a game called "Red Ball, Blue Ball" where they tossed each other imaginary balls to each other while trying to keep the proportions and qualities of the ball consistent.


As the children left the theater, they were allowed to ride up on the stage’s lift, or using the freight elevator that is used to carry large props and materials from the shop. Lilly Voessen, a seventh grader, said she had seen both before through her father’s work with the college.


As the event progressed, Jamie Willoughby, a volunteer with the Student Service Center, answered student questions about the college, and college life. Eighth grader Jatizha Delmast asked Willoughby about what classes the school offered, and most importantly, what the schedule for the cafeteria was like. Willoughby said that is a common question at Roo Bound events.


Fourth grader Raelynn Mckee said that she already had her plans ready. "I want to be a doctor and go to Austin College," said Mckee. "All my life, my dream has been to be a doctor."


The second half of the tour led the children to the college’s art building where the students were given a chance to see the art program’s sculpture workshop, and collaborate on an ongoing art project. The children worked together to paint the inside of a bus. The bus is owned by Austin College professor Mark Monroe, who has been made the bus his second ‘art car’ project after designing a car with a brick pattern.


The inside and outside of the bus is decorated from floor to ceiling with art from visiting artists, students, and children alike. The art ranged as much as the choice of colors: a stick figure on one side of the interior, sits across from a smiling face on the other side. Contributions to the buses decorum from the students ranged from a stick figure, added by sixth grader Tanner Johnston, to stars painted on the ceiling by eighth grader Katie Daugherty.