The program is a collaborative work between The Rockwell Museum and the Elmira City School District, designed to bring new experiences to the classroom using a variety of teaching and learning modalities, including a museum visit and working with a local artist. “The Rockwell Museum is a unique asset in our region and we’re happy to provide financial support to help them continue extending the museum into the community to provide valuable learning opportunities for kids in the Elmira City School District. This is an important program for M&T to support because it helps both the museum and the Elmira schools,” Newman said.
The Great Circle Program features an experienced local artist who works with each first-grade classroom five times during the residency, including one multi-experience visit to the Rockwell which utilizes The Rockwell collection as a catalyst for understanding concepts of storytelling, nature and 3D design. Students explore the overall theme of “The Great Circle: Growing, Moving, Helping,” which focuses on nature—the seasons, sun, moon, plants, animals and human relationships with natural cycles. Students explore STEM disciplines such as science and mathematics through experiential integrated learning. These topics complement the New York State Common Core curriculum and the Museum’s collection and encourage students to develop new ways to understand associated concepts.
“Research and real life tells us that students around the age of 7-8 begin to develop firm ideas of what they can and can’t do — what they are good and not good at. Positive early experiences and exposure to a wide range of activities and content help negate this. Each child feels successful and is willing to take risks as the program builds shared understanding among the students,” says Pam Davis-Webb, Principal at Diven Elementary, Elmira City School District.
“The Great Circle Residency is an innovative model for how museums can collaborate with community partners. It is also an example of how museums can use their collection to cross boundaries in art, math, history etc. In addition, it helps to create new directions for museums at a time when transportation costs are creating a challenge for school field trip viability,” says Mary Mix, Senior Museum Educator at The Rockwell.
In addition to M&T Bank, other vital support to the Great Circle Residency is provided by Hilliard Foundation, Anderson Foundation, Tripp Foundation, Hardinge Anderson Evans Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes. Start-up funds for the 2013 pilot phase of The Great Circle Artist-in-Residency program were provided by Alan Cameros and the Cameros Family Lead Trust.« Back to Blog
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