Map of United States painted at VES

Published 3:39 pm Thursday, May 5, 2016

Longwood University students recently completed a painting of a United States map on the blacktops at Victoria Elementary School, and refreshed the one at Kenbridge Elementary School.

Longwood students majoring in health and physical education — teacher education, completed the map at Victoria elementary in just two afternoons, school officials said.

The materials for the map were paid for through an American Democracy Grant and in partnership with Farmville’s Sherwin Williams Paint Store.

The map contains the abbreviations for each state as well as cardinal directions, both of which are helpful with Standards of Learning.

This is the 12th map — the ninth school and seventh county — completed as part of the “Map Project.”

Students refreshed the map at Kenbridge Elementary School that had been painted some years ago by AT&T workers.

“I just think you can learn a lot (of) things on the blacktop,” said Allison “Vonnie” Colvin, a Longwood professor of physical education, who founded and oversees the map program.

The program started in 2013 at Prince Edward County High School, and the plan quickly became to put the maps at every elementary school in counties touching Prince Edward.

That objective has just about been reached.

Last November, they rejuvenated the existing United States map at Cumberland Elementary School. The student volunteers have also painted maps at schools in Nottoway, Charlotte and Appomattox. “My students enjoy doing it,” Colvin said. “It’s a win-win. Our students become involved in the community where they need to be, and it’s a service to their schools.”

For the new ones, the Longwood students use eight sections of stencil, each 35-feet long and 18-inches wide, to create a map ­— and then spray paint the lines and connect the dots. If there is room, they also include North, South, East and West.

“We want the kids to learn the directions because that’s part of the SOL’s,” Colvin said.