The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has been given a $60,000 grant from the Wallace Genetic Foundation of Washington, DC, to expand the reach of its educational programming. The funds will support a new boatshop educational program for local sixth graders, and a new bus scholarship program that helps more students from throughout the Delmarva region participate in CBMM’s curriculum-based programs and field trips. The museum is seeking additional support for full funding and anticipates launching both programs in 2016.
The boatshop program is a pilot initiative in collaboration with the YMCA of the Chesapeake and the Academy Art Museum of Easton. The museum plans to offer two six-week afterschool boatbuilding sessions to Talbot County sixth-grade students. During the pilot program, students will learn woodworking and boatbuilding during fall and winter sessions, and in the warmer months will be invited to participate in on-the-water activities on CBMM small craft and other vessels, where they will be introduced to basic navigational and maritime skills through safe, supportive, and fun experiences. Students enrolled in the program will have the option of continuing on as an after-school participant, joining CBMM’s Apprentice for a Day (AFAD) program, or exploring the other athletic or artistic activities offered by the YMCA of the Chesapeake and the Academy Art Museum respectively.
The museum’s new bus scholarship program is designed to boost student visitation from states throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, prioritizing Title 1 schools, providing disadvantaged students the opportunity to explore the Chesapeake first-hand. Museum president Kristen Greenaway points out: “Bus transportation can regularly cost upwards of $500 for a half-day field trip. By creating a bus scholarship program that will reimburse schools for up to $300 per bus, we will be able to expand our reach to area schoolchildren that have not previously been able to visit the museum.”
The museum is also developing a program for Talbot County’s sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders to participate in week-long camp sessions, offered in collaboration with the YMCA of the Chesapeake. When full funding is met, CBMM plans to condense its six-week after-school session into a week-long, full-day summer camp. The existing boatbuilding and maritime activities will be enriched by off-site trips to outdoor destinations that complement the Chesapeake maritime theme, while underscoring self-discovery, personal achievement, exploration, and fun for each participant.