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Educational Holiday Gift Giving

December 13, 2011

This week I received an email from one of our volunteers and supporters at the C.H. Nash Museum – Gwen Calleo a pre K-3 teacher at the Ridgeway Early Learning Center in Memphis.  Gwen’s email perfectly illustrates the important points Maureen Molloy makes in her blog post about Public Archaeology that I recently shared.  In her email Gwen wrote “I am not sure if I ever shared a “light-bulb” moment I experienced volunteering at Chucalissa.   I was working with another volunteer, college student, and we were discussing how the samples were taken.  I never felt comfortable recording information from the bags because I know I did not have the background to understand what I was writing.  This student began explaining to me how the ground is laid out during an excavation.  Although I had seen pictures, I never made the correlation to graphs / grids/ axis’ until that moment.  For the first time, I understood the “z” axis.  The moment was good and bad.  Bad, because if I had met him a few years before, I possibly would not have failed calculus II.  Twice.  The good news was I realized now that I could explain, roughly, “z” or 3D to four year olds.  Not only could I explain it but I could show it to them if I were able to obtain the resources.”

To help Gwen provide similar “light-bulb” experiences for her students, I ask that you consider supporting her fundraising project at Donor’s Choose to get the needed supplies for her classroom.  I am a big fan of Donor’s Choose as a means of providing materials for the grossly underfunded public education system in the United States.

A resource to give funds to equally needy museums is through Shop for Museums.  At their website you specify the museum you wish to donate a percent of your online purchases from hundreds of online outlets such as Amazon, Target, and Barnes and Noble.  The news media reported over 1 billion dollars in sales on “Cyber Monday” this year.  There are about 1200 museums registered at Shop for Museums.  The low-end of the donations made by online companies for Shop For Museum purchases is 2 percent.  If all the online sales just from Cyber Monday were purchased through the Shop for Museums site, each of the 1200 registered museums would receive a check for over $16,000.00!  I have used the Shop for Museums website for a couple of years now without a glitch.  I urge readers to consider Shop for Museums to support your favorite cultural heritage institution – at no cost to you.  Of course, we listed the C. H. Nash Museum at Shop For Museums.

Finally, consider mailing your favorite museum a check specified for community outreach or educational programming –  or drop some extra cash in a museum’s donation box during your next visit.  At the C.H. Nash Museum, we accept online donations that we use specifically to enhance our educational programming with visiting school groups.

Consider supporting your favorite cultural heritage or educational institution this year with a holiday gift!

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