Kump Education Center

Kump Education Center
401 Randolph Avenue
P.O. Box 1106
Elkins, WV 26241

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Professional Development School

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Aug 15, 2014

Marvelous Marbles

by Dr. Healther Biola, Kump Education Center Executive Director

Marbles are a marvelous part of what made childhood magical for kids growing up in the 1950s. Every guy had his favorite “shooters”, and any patch of dry flat earth was an ideal spot for a game of “Ringer.” Nobody had heard of digital games yet, but developing excellent eye-hand coordination gave a natural advantage to the best marble players.

At the Kump Education Center Fair at the Crossroads August 31 games like marbles that children have played over the last 150 years will reflect the types of entertainment that West Virginians have made for themselves throughout our history.

“It may be a surprise to you to learn that the historic heart of the world’s glass marble production is in West Virginia,” wrote Dean Six from the Museum of American Glass in Weston, WV. West Virginia has been home to 24 of the 36 companies that have produced marbles in North America.

Beri Fox President of Marble King plans to send Kump Center a display of the wide variety of marbles still produced by Marble King in Paden City, WV. These colorful small spheres of glass are a delight to the eye.

Marvin George of Bridgeport is the executive director of the WV Marble Shooters Association. He has lent Kump Center two official carpet squares from the WV marble tournament. They are not as expensive as football Astroturf, but they are just as important when it comes to making a level playing field for marbles. Mr. George helps manage the Annual Mountaineer Marbles Tournament for students between 7 and 14. Winners get scholarships up to $1,000.

Other games from a simpler time will be available as well. Julia Varner will be in the Kump living room ready to demonstrate how to use buttons to play “Fox and Hens” and other children’s games played in the house. Katy McClane will be on the front lawn with the old Kump Croquet balls and mallets that she rehabilitated so we can play Croquet.