First Serve to bring interactive educational activities to Akron’s North Hill community starting Sept. 13

Community volunteer group First Serve is working with ArtsNow and Summit Education Initiative to bring Akron’s North Hill community four new interactive educational activities at several community spaces starting Sept. 13.

The educational activities were designed by University of Akron students John Aylward (Arts Administration), Julian Curet (Arts Administration) and Katelynn Olsen (Art History) with input from local experts in early childhood education and assistance from community members.

“Early childhood learning is not limited to the classroom,” said Matthew Deevers, executive director of Summit Education Initiative in a release. “Our public spaces can be creative, educational experiences for children and families of all ages; the work of our students from The University of Akron make that a reality again this year.”

Activities will be available to community members through the fall and include:

  • A seed kit for local children to try growing their own plants at home. The kits will be distributed through the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s North Hill Branch.
  • An interactive mirror with words of encouragement that will be installed in the North Hill Branch Library’s outdoor NatureConnect/reading garden space.
  • A “This Is Me” self-portrait wall at the North Hill Branch Library. This project will distribute paper and coloring supplies from the library and other community locations to allow to children to draw their portrait. Completed portraits can be dropped off at the library to be featured on the self-portrait wall.
  • Hopscotch mural boards featuring numbers, shapes and colors will be painted on sidewalks at locations throughout the community: Cascade Village, Children’s Center at Valley View, Harris-Jackson Community Learning Center, Patterson Park and North High School’s preschool program play area.

First Serve volunteers will help kick off the activities Sept. 13 as part of the group’s annual day of service. The organization is led by the First Congregational Church of Hudson, along with the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent and Temple Beth Shalom of Hudson.

This year’s partners include Akron-Summit County Public Library, the University of Akron, Exchange House and other North Hill neighborhood collaborators.

Community members interested in volunteering with First Serve can visit the First Serve website to learn more and register.