U.Va. Volunteers Host "Jumpstart for a Day" for Local Children: U.Va.-Based Service Program Holds Learning Carnival to Celebrate Charlottesville Early Childhood Community

April 11, 2007 -- Nearly 300 young children from Charlottesville preschools will visit the University of Virginia Amphitheater on Friday, April 13, for “Jumpstart for a Day,” a Learning Carnival sponsored by the Jumpstart program at U.Va. The event will include a variety of interactive “Learning Stations” for children to choose from throughout the day, with activities ranging from making lemonade from real lemons to running an obstacle course to making and playing in “clean mud.” (A complete list of Learning Stations is below.) In addition to their prizes and creations from Learning Stations, each class will get a set of books to add to their classroom libraries as a gift from the Jumpstart program. Students, teachers, and parents will attend from preschool programs housed in the following city and county schools: Agnor-Hurt, Barrett, Burnley-Moran, Cale, Clark, Greenbrier, Greer, Jackson-Via, Johnson, Scottsville, Stone-Robinson, Venable and Woodbrook.

The event is a unique collaboration of University of Virginia organizations and community members to recognize and celebrate young children and early educators in the Charlottesville area. Members of seven University student organizations and 50 to 75 individual students will serve as volunteers to run Learning Station activities alongside Jumpstart members, as well as representatives from local Starbucks stores. The goal of the day is to show broad community support for the needs of our youngest learners.

A national non-profit organization, Jumpstart places achievement-oriented college students to serve one-to-one in yearlong mentoring relationships with 3- to 5-year-old children in Head Start and other early education programs. In Charlottesville, 45 U.Va. students serve as Jumpstart Corps Members, spending 10 to 15 hours a week with children in four local preschool programs and helping them develop early language, literacy and social skills. Charlottesville is one of 64 communities served nationally by Jumpstart through programs at local colleges and universities.

For more information, contact Sarah Rude, site manager for Jumpstart Charlottesville, at (434) 924-7920 (office); (601) 454-3904 (cell); or by e-mail at jumpstart@virginia.edu.

Jumpstart for a Day Learning Stations

• Alphabet Bookmarks – Children make letter bookmarks that they decorate with stickers and letter stamps.  Volunteers read The Letters Are Lost, by Lisa Campbell Ernst to children as part of the activity.

• Bag/Crown Decorating – Children decorate and write their names on paper crowns to wear and large paper grocery bags to be used to keep all their crafts and materials from Jumpstart for a Day.

• Balloon Shaving/Shaving Cream Fun -- Children “shave” cream-covered balloons and make fun creations in a table covered with colored shaving cream.

• Ball Toss – Children play a game, taking turns tossing soft basketballs and footballs at a target.  Volunteers read Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault to children waiting to take turns

• Body Tracings -- Volunteers or parents trace children’s bodies on large sheets of paper.  Children use craft materials to decorate their full-size self-portraits.

• Bubbles – Children use fun-shaped wands to make bubbles from a large wading pool.  Volunteers show children the book Magic Bubble Trip by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert.

• Bug Catchers – Volunteers help children make “bug catchers” out of paper cups and mesh.

• Castle Building/Big Blocks – Children wear construction hats and build castles or other structures with big boxes or with sand.  Volunteers read Changes, Changes by Pat Hutchins with children.

• Caterpillars and Butterflies – Children and volunteers read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and then make their own caterpillars and butterflies out of paper towel tubes, pipe cleaners, glitter, paint, and other materials.

• Clean Mud – After reading Mrs. Wishy Washy by Joy Cowley, children create their own “clean mud” out of soap shavings, water, and shredded tissues.  Children play in the mud while staying clean and can reenact the story.

• Face Painting – Volunteers read Polar Bear, Polar Bear and 1, 2, 3, To the Zoo by Eric Carle to children to give them ideas about what they want painted on their faces.  Children then request a face paint design.

• Lemonade – Volunteers help children follow a recipe to make their own lemonade from real lemons.

• Magic Drawings – Children draw a picture with yellow crayons on yellow paper and then paint over the crayon drawing with colors to make the image “magically” appear.  Volunteers show children the book Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson.

• Monster Protectors and Magic Wands – Volunteers read children the book Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger, which tells about a father and son who get rid of a giant.  Children then get a chance to make their own creations to scare away the giant out of popsicle sticks, streamers, pipe cleaners, and a variety of craft materials.

• Moon Bounce – Children jump and play in the “Dalmatian Fire Dog” bounce.

• Muffin March -- Children participate in a mini-cakewalk by marching around a circle to music, standing on letter, number, and color placards.  When the music stops, children identify their letter, number, or color to win a muffin.

• Noodle Necklaces – Volunteers help children make necklaces, bracelets, or belts by stringing O-shaped cereal or noodles on pieces of yarn.

• Obstacle Course – Children run through an obstacle course of hula hoops, cones, and other materials set up by volunteers, including the “Morphy the Caterpillar” inflatable slide.

• Oobleck – Volunteers read Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss to children, and then children make and play with the “oobleck” (a gooey water and cornstarch mixture).

• Parachute – Children and volunteers gather around a parachute as a group and shake and lift the parachute in games such as “Popcorn,” “Shake Your Sillies Out,” “House,” and “Switch Places.”  Volunteers end each group’s turn by reading/singing The Wheels on the Bus by Raffi and having the children do the motions with the parachute.

• Playdough Factory – Volunteers help children make playdough from a recipe.  Children then play with their playdough using cookie cutters and other fun tools.  Volunteers read Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle to children who are waiting.

• Lion Masks – Children make child-size lion masks out of large paper bags play make-believe in a “jungle” play theater.

• Rainbow Fishing – Children cast fishing poles into a “pond” of different colored magnetic fish and get a surprise when they figure out what kind of fish (letter, number, color, shape) they caught.  Volunteers read children the book The Rainbow Fish to accompany the activity.

• Seed Planting – Starbucks volunteers help children to plant seeds in their own “planters” made from Starbucks cups and coffee grounds.

• Sticky Styrofoam -- Children experiment and make crafts and structures with biodegradable packing peanuts, water, and other materials.

• Strike Up The Band – Volunteers help children make musical instruments from coffee cans, plastic jugs, and other materials.  Children play along to part of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. as a closing activity.