The PLACE to Open Young Eyes to Appreciate our Differences

Dear Museum Supporter,

It was the beginning of the school day and the bell had just rung. I was carrying the last suitcase of program materials into the classroom when I heard giggling in the hallway. “Why did you cut your hair off, it looks weird? Why are you wearing that?” I looked out the door to see a group of students standing in front of a young boy, who had most of his hair shaved off wearing a traditional shirt from India. His appearance was due to an Indian rite of passage and coming of age ceremony, I later learned. As the teacher stepped in to separate the children and quiet the class for my program, it hit me: I have an opportunity to transform this conversation and directly respond to what I witnessed. I looked that student in the eye, smiled and began the lesson, showing the class that their differences are worthy of celebration.

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The interactions that morning presented a timely occasion to directly address misconceptions and bullying plus the content of the lesson.  The museum’s educational programs have been created to focus on these everyday issues and inspire children to be open learners.  Finally, it provided an opportunity to bring our diverse world to children, the mission of the World Awareness Children’s Museum.

A teacher at an Albany school felt her diverse classroom could really benefit from discussions about clothing choices. The Cultural Aspects of Clothing, an education outreach program, introduces reasons for clothing choices related to geography, daily activities and beliefs/traditions met both students and teacher’s need.

Throughout 2016, 3,200 children have been served with on and offsite education tours or programs.

One of our long-standing education volunteers, Board Member Linda Cappabianca, attests to the power and touch of the Museum:“As a teacher, parent, and grandparent I have supported the mission of WACM for years. A special benefit is that one can travel the globe without leaving town!  Exposing children to diverse cultures and traditions is an important part of their individual growth. Learning the differences and similarities of people helps their understanding of our community and the world. WACM is an important asset for our area!”

Your donation will allow children in this community and area to have access to world cultures, and enhance their awareness of living in a diverse world.

It means the world to them and to us.

Click here to donate now

Sincerely,
Sheileen Landrey
Manager of Education and Programming