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New possibilities for Old Kump Place

Randolph County Assistant Superintendent of Schools Joseph Arbogast visited Kump Education Center this week, and we talked about different ways teachers and students could use the facility.

We are seeking new ways that KEC can serve the Randolph County community now that the heating system has proven to be effective throughout one winter and the electrical wiring is ready to support 21st Century technology. The Kump Education Center Mission is “to promote student achievement and to foster teacher excellence.”

Mr. Arbogast noted that the Kump property could be used to teach agriculture. It offers local students opportunities for hands-on activities like gardening and bee keeping. The wetlands provide learning options for sustainability. Students may explore the wetlands to learn about plants and animals that live there. They can use technology to learn about monitoring water quality. Students might also learn preservation trades.

Mr. Arbogast suggested that the historic Kump house offers an opportunity for field trips when students are studying West Virginia History. Since historic preservation funding has financed most of the renovation in the building, the main floor will remain like it was when Eleanor Roosevelt visited with the Kumps in the 1930s. Most of the original furniture is still there, and it offers history students a window into the world of the early 20th Century.

We plan to use the first floor for small meetings and other activities that will not put too much stress on the antique furnishings. When things wear out, we will repair or replace them. The historic house will allow visitors to experience the past while preparing for their future.

AmeriCorps members, who work in our STREAM mentoring program with middle school students, have trained at Kump Education Center over the last four years. The STREAM program provides academic coaching for students who are at-risk of dropping out of school. These students have visited KEC on field trips since 2016. We also hosted Summer Science events for children in the YMCA Day Camp. The facility has been a great place for demonstrations of robots and drones. We could also offer the use of 3-D printers in the future.

In order to foster teacher excellence, Kump Education Center has hosted an education research seminar each spring since 2011.

Now we are planning to host the Randolph County cohort of teachers who are working on Na

tional Board Certification. We may also be able to sponsor some of these NBC teacher candidates to help fulfill our goal of fostering teacher excellence.

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