PMM Receives Multiple Grant Awards
Betty Schopmeyer, Education Director
January 5, 2011 -- Penobscot Marine Museum was awarded four grants in December, 2010, totaling $34,000. Grants from the State of Maine and three private foundations will support a variety of education and collections-related initiatives.
At $20,000, the largest grant is from The Savage Family Foundation to the museum's education department. Part of this grant will be used to extend the reach of the museum's innovative Maritime History and Literacy Curriculum by funding pilot units in schools in Castine, Belfast, Otis, Appleton, and as many as five other towns in Knox, Waldo, and Hancock counties. Interested elementary schools should contact the museum. The grant will also be used to create new outreach and education opportunities for high school and preschool students, and will enable the museum to provide tuition assistance for its February and April school vacation programs and its Downeaster Days summer program.
Thanks to a grant from the Davis Conservation Foundation, the museum will purchase a new marine touch tank and refurbish its existing one. During the school year, the touch tanks will be hosted by area schools, where they will be used to educate students about marine life. During the summer, they are among the museum's most popular exhibits among young visitors. Davis Conservation Funds will also be used to maintain the tanks and train their attendants.
A Historical Records Collections Grant, coordinated by the Maine State Archives, will be used to preserve and improve access to photographs in the museum's archives. Containing more than 100,000 historic images, the museum's photo collection is among the largest and most important in Maine.
A grant from People's United Bank will be used to commission a second "floor map" for the museum's education department. This map will show the Down East coast and islands, supplementing the existing map, also funded by the bank four years ago, that shows Penobscot Bay and River up to Old Town. Students can kneel or sit around the huge vinyl maps, which measure almost 100 square feet, and manipulate props on them to learn about resources, economic activities, settlement patterns, and other history and geography lessons.
"Penobscot Marine Museum is committed to using its historical resources to promote the education of children and adults alike," said Education Director Betty Schopmeyer. "These grants, all coming just as we enter our 75th year of operation, enable us to continue that mission with fresh ideas and new resources."