Take a minute to visit Jumpatthesun.org, and you’ll realize their mission to enhance the social studies experience for local elementary children revolves around the belief that our history is not the result of just one story, but many untold stories that define us all!
A collaboration between Action4Equality, Bookmarks, Heritage 365, Read Write Spell, The Winston-Salem Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Jump at the Sun takes its name from master storyteller Zora Neale Hurston, an anthropologist, author, and filmmaker, who wrote Dust Tracks on a Road, where the central mother character nudged her children to “jump at the sun” every chance they had, noting you might not always land on the sun, but you would at least get off the ground!
With those inspiring words, the program is the culmination of a vision that every WS/FC school be fully equipped with the books, curriculum tools, and educator training to deliver a historically appropriate, multicultural photo of our collective history. It’s also the first book drive to purchase books teachers need to teach the African American Infusion Curriculum, after a need to review history being taught to WS/FC students, and the “K-12 Cultural Infusion Project” began in 2019.
Jump at the Sun believes every child will benefit from an educational system willing to teach every aspect of our national history, and their plan is to work to ensure they are offering high-quality social studies instruction to students. The group wants to increase focus on instructional materials for elementary social studies, and increase the class time the subject is given for those age children. Their hope is that by developing lessons aligned to social studies standards using picture books and other texts that are incorporated into literacy instruction, that more students will be exposed to the content. Paired with the goal to have all students ‘see themselves’ in their classroom experiences, this effort will lead to the development of book lists that combine multicultural stories and characters with the social studies standards for elementary classes.
The book drive’s goal is to buy 1,222 books, or 26 titles for each of the district’s 47 elementary schools, says Sara Fox from Jump at the Sun, and donations of any amount may be made at jumpatthesun.org. They also invite the community to join them in education equity when it comes to educating and empowering the whole child.
Specific book titles can also be selected and donated through Bookmarks (bookmarksnc.org/wishlists). Local groups interested in helping with the project may also visit jumpatthesun.org/contact, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @jumpatthesun_wsnc.