On November 16, the Department of Health and Human Performance hosted Carrie Ekins, chief executive officer, education coordinator and owner of Drums Alive ® as their fall Brennan & Smith Lecture Series guest speaker and for the first time hosted an interactive session.
"We added the interactive piece and opened it up to the San Marcos community so that the teachers, families and students in SMCISD would have the opportunity to try Drums Alive ® DRUMTASTICS and have a better understanding of what the research intervention would involve," shared Dr. Lyn Litchke, professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance. The research Litchke references is one of the reasons Ekins was chosen as this year's guest lecturer.
Initially, Ekins was recommended by the Special Olympics Texas' Young Athletes Program (YAP), which is implementing the Drums Alive ® DRUMTASTICS curriculum into the motor skills development for their pre-sport development program in Special Olympics, which is geared towards bringing children with and without disabilities together. Ekins' research showed the impact of DRUMTASTICS for children with intellectual disabilities and found improvements in their motor skills, social skills, and emotional skills with a trending impact on improving reading skills; thus making it a perfect fit for YAP to implement in the local community and beyond.
In fact, the program has helped launch an interdisciplinary, international research project among DRUMTASTICS, Special Olympics Texas and China, and Texas State University to benefit society in the context of physical and mental health, social challenges, inter-cultural aspects, music, and education.