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KEC has much to be thankful for

This week Kump Education Center (KEC) celebrated the opening of the Altice Learning Lab (ALL). We want to thank Bob Lillie, Erin Jones, Kenneth Matthews, and everyone from Altice and Suddenlink who have made this 21st century computer learning facility available to students and teachers in Randolph and surrounding counties.

We also want to thank Assistant Superintendent Joseph Arbogast and math teacher K.J. Shaffer from Randolph County Schools. They recognized the possibility that Homebound and Alternative Learning students in Randolph County could benefit from coming to Kump Education Center after the Alternative Learning Center closed.

Mr. Shaffer requisitioned all the technology that would be needed to make the learning lab function well.

At KEC we have much to be thankful for this year. Our heating system warms the old Kump house amazingly well thanks to Malcolm Long. The plaster looks great on the first floor thanks to Brian Shourd and Logan Smith who trained the AmeriCorps hand-on team. The painted surfaces on the north and south sides of the building are newly painted thanks to Chris Simmons and Robin Darling.

We remain grateful to WV Historic Preservation Office and local Daughters of the American Revolution for giving us significant grants to restore our historic building.

In addition to remarkable improvements that have been made on our City of Elkins property, we have benefited from collaborating with local public schools. For example, STREAM is our AmeriCorps mentoring program at Elkins Middle School where Victoria Kyle and Kate Collins coach students to increase their academic success. We appreciate Mr. Lucas, Mr. Alfred, and Ms. Jeanne Johnson, who have helped our new mentors learn to work with middle school students.

Our long collaboration with Davis & Elkins College continues to be one of our most significant relationships within the community. The D&E Education Department and KEC have worked on Professional Development Schools and Education Seminars for more than ten years. D&E Sustainability students have created raised beds in our community garden, tested water quality in Goddin Creek, installed solar lighting, and built a permeable sidewalk in the yard. D&E students have often raked leaves and helped paint the ancient white fence out front.

We appreciate the Elkins YMCA Summer Day Camp, WV Beekeepers Association, WV Division of Natural Resources because they continue to collaborate with KEC on many learning opportunities for local students.