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May 9, 2023


CONTACT: Nanci Bross-Fregonara, Communications Specialist @ 304-516-4775


ELKINS – The West Virginia Humanities Council, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, recently announced that the Kump Education Center is the recipient of a minigrant that will partially fund an upcoming Wild, Wonderful Woods celebration at the historic Gov. Kump House Saturday, June 24, from noon to 5 p.m.


The grant will assist in creating interpretive panels and other display materials focusing on the Mountain State's rich forest heritage and how it impacted the region's economy and character. The exhibits will also highlight how the Kump House was constructed and furnished using local wood and wood craftsmen.


"We are grateful to have received this Humanities grant which will help elevate and celebrate the importance of our local forest," said Heather Biola, director of the Kump Education Center. "The event will be a wonderful way to bring together wood-related local artisans and organizations and acknowledge West Virginia's 160th anniversary of statehood."


The celebration's highlights include many children's activities, such as making ornaments for the National Christmas Tree, which will be harvested from the Monongahela National Forest this year. Local musicians will provide entertainment, and the KEC's popular Pie Auction will return at 2 p.m. The Gov. Kump House will be open for public tours during the entire event.


Several organizations have already committed to participating in the event, including the U.S. Forest Service, The Arts Center, Davis & Elkins College, the Elkins Tree Board, Tygart Valley Master Naturalists, Randolph County Technical Center, and the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area. Vendor booths will include forest-related crafts and food products.


The Humanities Council, serving West Virginia through grants and direct programs in the humanities, budgets over $800,000 for grants and programs each year. A variety of grants are offered to nonprofit organizations that support educational programming. Minigrants, designed for projects requesting $2,000 or less, are awarded four times yearly.


For more information about the West Virginia Humanities Council grants program, contact Humanities Council grants administrator Erin Riebe at (304) 346-8500 or via email at riebe@wvhumanities.org. Grant guidelines and applications are available on the Humanities Council website: www.wvhumanities.org.


For more information about the event or questions about being a participant or vendor, please visit www.kumpeducationcenter.org or email kumpec@gmail.com.



Grace Sundelein, a Kump Education Center volunteer serves up pie for a previous Pie Auction held at the Gov. Kump House. This popular event will return on Saturday, June 24 at 2 p.m. during the Wild, Wonderful Woods celebration.



Musician Katy McClane will be featured playing traditional Native American music at the Wild, Wonderful Woods celebration set for June 24, from noon until 5 p.m. at the historic Gov. Kump House in Elkins. The event includes public tours of the historic home, children’s activities, new interpretive displays, vendors and opportunities to learn about the region’s forest heritage.




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APRIL 23, 2023


ELKINS--The Kump Education Center will be hosting two exciting week-long summer camps this year that will provide fun and educational opportunities for area youth: Spanish Camp for children ages 4-8 and Camp Blue Planet for rising fifth and sixth graders.


Spanish Camp is set for June 12-16, from 8:30-3:30 daily and is under the direction of Leah Devine. Devine currently teaches Spanish at Elkins High School. Her 17 years of Spanish teaching experience includes middle and high school, and Spanish summer camps, ranging from lower elementary at The Arts Center to weeklong Spanish Immersion camps for high schoolers.


Most recently she directed a Spanish camp for elementary and middle school age youth in coordination with Mountain Laurel Learning Cooperative (MLLC) in Tucker Country.

Spanish Camp will pique young campers’ interest in Spanish through immersive play. With an animal theme, they will learn traditional songs and connect language learning with familiar stories. Repetition of vocabulary will help the students comprehend and communicate in Spanish while campers play games, prepare and sample foods and make art in Spanish.


“I am looking forward to creating a fun and exciting introduction to a new language and spending time with these young learners,” said Devine.


Camp Blue Planet, set for July 17-21, from 8:30-3:30 daily will be directed by Jim Fregonara and Nanci Bross-Fregonara. Jim has more than 25 years of environmental education and outreach experience with the WV Division of Natural Resources.


He has presented wildlife diversity programs throughout the state at camps, workshops, state parks, schools, and non-profit events. He is known for his ability to make learning about the natural world fun and exciting.


Both directors are certified with Project WILD and Project Learning Tree and Bross-Fregonara has directed several environmental themed summer camps with The Arts Center. Campers will explore the natural world with hands-on activities, such as birding and nature identification, outdoor projects, and creative interpretation.


“We are happy to share our love of wildlife with this age group at the Gov. Kump House,” said Fregonara. “This unique location allows us to explore the wetlands area and lead other outdoor activities with the campers.”


Both camps will take place at the Gov. Kump House in Elkins. Campers must provide a packed lunch. Enrollment is limited to 15, and a minimum number of participants is required for each camp. Tuition for each week-long camp is $200.


For more information about tuition fees and registration materials, visit www.kumpeducationcenter.org, or email kumpec@gmail.com.



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February 1, 2023


ELKINS- The Kump Education Center (KEC) is currently offering a unique math enrichment program called "Math Magic." The free after-school program is designed for fourth and fifth-grade elementary students from Third Ward, North, and Jennings Randolph elementary schools.


The KEC worked with Randolph County Board of Education Math Coordinator Tammy Tucker in creating a curriculum based on materials from Stanford University called "Youcubed." These materials stimulate a student's mind to use spatial reasoning to develop strategies rather than memorization.


The second program methodology uses "Number Talks." In this approach, teachers listen to various ways students think about solving a problem and encourage them to find the best way to reason through the process.


According to KEC Director Dr. Heather Biola, Davis & Elkins College students affiliated with the college’s Teacher Education Program and Career Service Center are serving as math mentors. Citizens Bank of West Virginia provided staff funding for the mentors, and Davis Trust Company offered additional funding for mobile whiteboards. The use of whiteboards encourages students to stand up and try various solutions to math problems.


"We thank everyone in the Elkins community who has helped us create an active learning center at the historic Kump house," said Dr. Biola. "Without their wonderful support, the Kump Education Center could not do the vital work of providing innovative instruction and research results. Progress in education comes from this thoughtful work, and our community will benefit."



Davis and Elkins College student Dezmon Johnson assists a participant in the Kump Education Center's Math Magic after-school program. The ten-week math enrichment program is designed for fourth and fifth graders from several local elementary schools.

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