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2012 News Releases

Longwood students donate physical activity equipment to local Head Start programs

August 28, 2012

Local Head Start officials June Gregory (far left) and Amanda Corbin (2nd from left) accept hula hoops and pool noodles from Longwood students.
Local Head Start officials June Gregory (far left) and Amanda Corbin (2nd from left) accept hula hoops and pool noodles from Longwood students Meg Van Trees, Rosella Sheehan and Courtney Daymude (3rd and 4th from left and far right) and Alicia Peterson (2nd from right), faculty adviser to Phi Epsilon Kappa.

Children in local Head Start programs have 180 hula hoops and 180 pool noodles for physical education activities, thanks to a fundraising effort by Longwood University students.

Students in Phi Epsilon Kappa (PEK), the honor fraternity in the Department of Health, Athletic Training, Recreation and Kinesiology (HARK), raised money for the equipment, which will be used in Head Start classrooms in the area. Enough funds were raised to provide equipment for nine of the 21 area Head Start classrooms. The fundraising effort was led by last year's PEK president, Rosella Sheehan, who graduated in May and now is a graduate student at James Madison University.

"Hula hoops and pool noodles are the essential equipment needed to implement the Head Start/Body Start curriculum developed by the American Alliance for Physical Education, Recreation and Dance," said Dr. Vonnie Colvin, professor of physical education pedagogy and program coordinator of physical and health education-teacher education.

Alicia Peterson, PEK faculty sponsor, called the effort "the result of a commitment by the fraternity to increase children's physical activity levels. Phi Epsilon Kappa plans to raise more money this year so that all 366 children in the area Head Start programs can be able to participate."

Sheehan, current Phi Epsilon Kappa president Courtney Daymude and Peterson presented the hula hoops and pool noodles to Head Start staff on Aug. 17.

Colvin and Dr. Claire Mowling, assistant professor of physical education pedagogy, will provide in-service training for Head Start teachers and teacher's aides throughout the year. In addition, graduate students in the HARK Department will create activity DVDs for use with pre-schoolers.