Map project encourages learning for students

Published 3:03 pm Thursday, November 12, 2015

Longwood University has partnered with Cumberland Elementary School to rejuvenate the existing United States map on the primary students’ playground.

According to Vonnie Colvin, program coordinator and professor of physical education, Cumberland Elementary was the seventh school that Longwood student volunteers painted a map for. So far, the student volunteers have painted about 10 maps across the region.

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Colvin said while a large majority of student volunteers are from the health and physical education department, all majors are welcome to help. She said the initiative has spread to students from other departments.

“I have participated in painting five different maps at three different schools while I’ve been here at Longwood,” said Longwood student

Ashley Brown. “It has been an unbelievably rewarding task.”

In a press release from Cumberland Elementary School, P.E. teacher Glenda Grubbs said that about 15 years ago employees of AT&T painted a U.S. map on the school’s primary playground “as they did on many blacktops around the area. The [Longwood] students volunteered to apply a fresh coat of paint to the existing 25-by-35-foot U.S. map, and then labeled each state with the state name abbreviation and designated the cardinal directions.”

Grubbs said that the student volunteers designed a 30-by-40-foot world map on the school’s bus loop that included continents, oceans, an equator and cardinal directions.

“We appreciate Colvin and the Longwood students who freshened up the map of the United States of America on the playground and painted a new world map on the bus loop of the elementary school,” said Cumberland Division Superintendent Dr. Amy Griffin. “The students and parents are raving about it! It is wonderful to have this partnership with Longwood that benefits our students and community.”

Not only is the map project a good community service opportunity for Longwood students but a lot of Standards of Learning can be taught using maps, according to Colvin.

Grubbs said in the press release that maps can be utilized to teach movement in physical education and serve as a method for students to learn information such as the kinesthetic aspect of Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences.

“It’s fantastic that we as physical educators are able to incorporate other subject areas such as geography into physical activity,” Brown said.

Student volunteers from Longwood have painted maps at area schools in Nottoway, Charlotte, Appomattox and Prince Edward.

Colvin said the maps are done using a stencil, and Sherwin-Williams in Farmville has been a huge contributor of paint.

Griffin thanks thank Sherwin-Williams for being a major supporter of the project.

“I just go out there and try to channel my not so prevalent inner Van Gogh and paint a map that the children deserve,” Brown said.