For Hometown News
INDIAN RVIER COUNTY - The Vero Beach Museum of Art's giving circle, Circle of Friends, held its final meeting of the season on April 17.
At the meeting, the circle voted by ballot to contribute its $22,000 fund to underwrite the support for two of the museum's community engagement programs for 2012-13.
The programs selected by Circle of Friends members at the event were the museum's school transportation fund and Fellsmere Elementary adopt-a-school program.
Despite the educational value of fieldtrips to the museum for Indian River County students, any destination can be a challenging consideration for today's schools. In the current academic environment, fieldtrips are evaluated for their time away from campus, schedule and testing disruptions, legal and safety risks, and of course, mounting costs.
The museum's school transportation fund eliminates one of the biggest barriers to field trip participation by reimbursing schools for their transportation and other related costs when visiting the museum.
The museum's partnership with Fellsmere Elementary School began in 1996 as an "adopt-a-school" relationship, but has grown to be so much more. Located in rural Indian River County, this Title I school serves a diverse population of 93 percent Hispanic, 5 percent Caucasian, 1 percent African American and 1 percent multi-ethnic students.
Each year, the museum's art educator works with school faculty to design a unit of study based on learning in a museum exhibition, connecting state curriculum guidelines and creating activities to support classroom instruction. The lessons are introduced over two or three classroom visits, followed by a museum fieldtrip and culminating with a classroom activity. A student exhibition in the museum's Eggert Children's Gallery is also coordinated with their visit.
The museum's Circle of Friends, is presently comprised of 83 philanthropic women who contribute $250 each with the goal that the total amount be gifted annually, by vote, to a museum education program of their collective majority choice. Four education programs were presented to the group for funding consideration.
This year's Circle of Friends group was chaired by Susan Von Hagen. Committee members were: Lyn Adams, Lee Albro, Pat Anwyl, Gretchen Hanson, Pat Marquis, Marguerite Rowe, Susan Smith and Diane Wilhelm.
Residents are all invited to participate and contribute to this innovative giving circle. To find out more or to sign-up, call (772) 231-0707, Ext. 106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Vero Beach Museum of Art is located at 3001 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach. For information about the art institution, public programs and educational offerings, call (772) 231-0707 or visit www.verobeachmuseum.org.