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So much to be thankful for

As Americans gathered to count their blessings last week, the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center found itself especially grateful. In the last two weeks, the museum has been awarded seven grants and one very special opportunity.

  • The Forest Classroom Project –The forest classroom project brings students to the forest for a field experience designed to give future policy leaders and decision makers along with adults a hands-on multimedia and outdoor experience focused on the health of our wild lands and role all of us will play in sustaining one of our greatest resources. Learning goals include gaining an understanding of fire as an integral part of the ecosystem, the impact of megafires on the personal health and community vitality of this region and the need to develop a fire management plan for the east slopes of the Cascades. The $5,000 STEM field grant from Washington STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is part of the $110,000 grant awarded to Apple STEM and will provide funding for this dynamic program. This project is a collaboration with The Wildfire Project, an organization committed to educating communities to better prepare themselves to co-exist with the natural phenomenon of wildfire.
  • Coyote’s Corner and Inspiration Station – These are hands-on learning centers in the museum designed specifically for young children.  Coyote’s Corner and Inspiration Station bring STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) learning to children and their caregivers at no cost.  Among the featured activities are gears, tangrams, a sensory board, felt board, a ping pong ball run, artist of the month and craft of the month projects.  We received a $3,000 from US Bank to help ensure that our Coyote’s Corner room stays free to the public. We also were given a $5,000  Frederick Johnson Award from the Community Foundation to support the cost of materials purchased for Coyote’s Corner and Inspiration Station and ensure that it stays free to the public.
  • People of our Past – February 2017 marks the 10th annual presentation, where people from the Wenatchee Valley’s past are brought to life by local performers. People of our Past connects textbook learning to real people, their lives and the time and place in which they lived. The character research required to fully develop each person’s story often leads to additions to the museum collection and a richer telling of our shared history. Their stories help us better understand the decisions that shaped the look and feel of our present community. The museum has added a fourth showing to the line up to handle the crowds who are riveted by these fascinating characters. We were just awarded a $5,000 grant from the Woods Art Fund at Community Foundation of North Central Washington (CFNCW), which will offset a small portion of the cost of this extensive production.
  • Ice Age Adventures – We live in a geological ice-age-adventureswonderland made all the more fascinating if you know what to look for as you survey our beautiful valley.  Students in 2nd, 4th and 5th grades learn about the ice age floods and Clovis culture. Activities include flint knapping, atl-atl demonstrations, archeological digging, fossil exploration, ice age flood re-enactment, storytelling from the Clovis exhibit and so much more.  It is an immersive experience that leaves a lasting impression. And it helps teachers meet required grade level standards.  We are planning to have more than 3,600 students take part in this winter’s program.  Busing and program expenses for an adventure this comprehensive are significant. We are proud to have received three grants for this program, including:
    • $1,000 for NCW Foundation for Youth to subsidize entrance fees
    • $5,000 from Wenatchee Central Lions’ Kingston Memorial Fund to directly subsidize the busing and student entrance fees
    • $9,000 Regional Impact Grant from CFNCW

In addition to all of these grants, the Ice Age Adventures program has been selected by the Community Foundation for inclusion in this year’s GiveNCW crowd funding campaign.  GiveNCW runs from Thanksgiving Day through December 31st. Donations of $10 or more can be given through www.GiveNCW.org to support any of the 25 nonprofit projects selected. CFNCW absorbs all credit card fees, so 100% of the donation goes to the nonprofit.

“We’ve worked very hard since becoming an independent, non-profit organization in 2015 to rebuild our funding,” said Museum Deputy Director Marriah Thornock. “Knowing that so many organizations are willing to back our efforts means a lot to us and our programs. To be included in this year’s GiveNCW campaign is a real honor.”

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