Gibbes Museum boosting arts education for Title 1 students

The Gibbes Museum of Art received a $15,000 Arts Education Project grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission to help fund the Arts Access program, which provides free admission to Title 1 schools.

gibbesartsaccessFrom WCSC Charleston:

The Gibbes Museum of Art is working to boost arts education in Title 1 schools with a special “Arts Access” program for students.

“A lot of them have never been to a museum before so it’s important for them to see this space, this community museum that’s for them,” Rebecca Sailor, educational curator of the Gibbes Museum of the Arts, said.

The Arts Access program allows students in Title 1 schools, which receive extra funding for a high number of kids from low-income families, the opportunity to tour the museum for free. Students also participate in hands-on activities.

“My favorite part is learning stuff but at the same time having activities to do,” Hursey Elementary 5th grader Sha,ronn said.

“I just love to watch their faces and their expressions and the comments they make quietly to their selves,” Heather Teems, an art teacher, said.

The Arts Access program also covers the costs of transportation to the museum.

“We wouldn’t be able to afford it. The school wouldn’t be able to afford the bus, to be able to come that many times.  I don’t think these children would come on their own if they hadn’t had a chance to come here,” Teems said.

Museum staff coordinate the tours and programming to support teachers in-classroom curriculum.

“We work very closely with the teachers to make sure we’re coordinating with their curriculum,” Sailor said. “That’s very important. We’re not doing our thing; we’re doing their thing.”

The program is currently funded through the S.C. Arts Commission and Wells Fargo. The town of Kiawah also supports the program for Johns Island students.  Schools from Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Title 1 schools are eligible for the program.

For more information on educational opportunities at the Gibbes, visit here