The Museum is making great strides in connecting with the communities that house the nine elementary schools we are focusing on, as part of our third grade arts integration program with the Birmingham City School system. These neighborhoods include Avondale, Central Park, Ensley, Glen Iris, Arlington West End, North Roebuck, South East Lake, Sandusky, and North Avondale. We are excited to share that we have attended multiple PTA meetings in each of these nine districts as part of the complimentary community-based programs. The week of November 14 was particularly rewarding, as we helped the elementary schools celebrate American Education Week and attended all nine PTA meetings offered that week.
In addition, Artist-In-Residence Toby Richards has traveled to each of the nine neighborhood association meetings, as well as the Community Advisory Board meeting for all of Birmingham’s 99 Neighborhoods. We are hosting activities and hands-on projects at Jimmie Hudson / Sandusky Recreation Center, have participated in several career fairs in the schools, and are partnering with the after-school programs at United Methodist Churches in Pratt City and Central Park. The Five Points West Library and West End Library are working with us to enhance the family services they already provide.
The collaboration also invites these communities to participate in Museum events and activities. We are distributing promotional materials about our family program offerings through the neighborhood associations, churches, and libraries, which resulted in increased attendance at our October family day, Bart’s Spooktacular. The Museum is currently working on plans to host PTA meetings and community organization meetings. It is our hope to fully engage these communities and educate the whole child (beyond their school studies) as we continue to provide a true partnership in education.