Program incorporates movement and math

Published 9:28 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2018

For the third year in a row, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Education Foundation is putting on its Jump Start program in Suffolk’s elementary schools.

The program was made possible through the support of Suffolk car dealerships including Mike Duman Auto Sales, Starr Motors, Barton Ford Suffolk and First Team Automotive.

“Having the support of these automotive dealers allows us to take this program into all of the public elementary schools in Suffolk,” Hall of Fame President Eddie Webb said in a press release. “Their commitment to education in the city of Suffolk should be commended, and we look forward to another successful year of the Jump Start program.”

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The Jump Start program featured multiple activities geared towards math skills for fourth- and fifth-grade students. The activities allowed the students to run around the gym while brushing up on skills like fractions and probability.

Some of the games had students racing to beat the clock or competing against another group, but some games were as simple as playing Twister or doing yoga poses.

According to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Education Foundation, the program utilizes kinesthetic learning by having students carry out physical activities, rather than listen to a lecture or watch demonstrations. Kinesthetic learning helps students learn concepts, rather than taking the conventional way of repeating facts back to the teacher.

Teachers are involved in the activities with the students to keep them engaged.

“We are so excited to be bringing the Jump Start Program back to the Suffolk elementary schools,” Education Coordinator Elaina Kirk said in a press release. “Jump Start was created to provide an engaging and energetic learning environment that combines physical activity and math so students can be a part of a positive and memorable learning experience.”

The program started visiting Suffolk’s schools in early November, and they took the games to Mack Benn Jr. Elementary School first on Nov. 7.

Kirk spent just a few minutes teaching them how to do each of the activities before handing out their “passports” and letting them learn and play. Some of the activities were the same as last year, and more than a handful of students remembered participating the last time the group came to the school.

The passports featured problems for each station that they had to finish before moving on to the next area.

“We have questions in the passport for each activity, and we want to make sure you understand the math from each station,” Kirk said at Mack Benn Jr. Elementary.

Students had the chance to spend an hour in the gymnasium with the Jump Start program before getting back to their classes.

The program has also visited Florence Bowser Elementary and Oakland Elementary. The program will visit the remaining schools throughout the month of December.