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Wiregrass Museum of Art Announces K-12 Museum Tour Program

Matt Boster

Viewed: 769

Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: May 15 2017 7:53 AM

The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is pleased to announce Bus on Us, a new program to make museum visits for educational tours and programming more accessible to area K-12 public school students. The program will provide reimbursement money for bus transportation for K -12 classes in the Dothan City and Houston County school systems, covering the cost of a total of 150 buses and having an estimated reach of 7,500 students in its first year.

The Bus on Us program will focus on eliminating the often-prohibitive transportation costs of field trips, allowing students to take a tour of the museum's galleries and to participate in a creative learning opportunity. Principals will select teachers to participate in the program, a process to be determined by each school. Participating teachers will be able to apply to the program beginning August 1 to select a date and a cross-curricular focus for each visit.

Bus on Us takes the place of WMA's long-running outreach program, Smudges. In this program, WMA's art educator visited third-grade classrooms in Dothan City and Houston County schools each fall and spring to teach an art lesson based on the courses of study in the Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX). Bus on Us will continue to provide access to the hands-on art experiences taught in Smudges but will expand the reach of WMA's art education programming to a wider age range of students and allow them the chance to visit the museum's galleries.

"The museum's transition this fall is an exciting one. While Smudges has been an amazing outreach program with the third grade, as a museum we know that we are not reaching everyone; that needs to change and thankfully it is. Reaching all students from kindergarten up to their senior year is beneficial to their learning. Here at the museum we want to be a fun and educational extension of the classroom," said Amanda Holcomb, WMA Art Educator.

Funding for Bus on Us has been provided in part by the Southeast Alabama Community Foundation (SACF). A portion of the money from SACF will also be used to develop a series of interactive and comprehensive lesson plans that connect ALEX curriculum standards with artworks in WMA's permanent collection. This online program is set to debut later in the year.

"Unfortunately, with the lack of funding in schools today, children are not being exposed to the arts," said Millie Armstrong, Affiliate Manager of SACF in Dothan. "It is exciting for the Southeast Alabama Community Foundation to be able to support WMA and their efforts to offer more art education experiences to grades K-12." 

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