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August 14, 2018

Scholarship Highlights:

  • Harvest Foundation provides $10,000 Pick Up the Pace! grant to museum for school scholarships
  • Scholarships will be offered to elementary and middle schools in Martinsville and Henry County
  • Programming will be offered at the museum, inside the school classroom, or through distance learning
  • Programs must be complete between September 1, 2018 and February 28, 2019.
  • Teachers, educators and administrators are encouraged to contact the museum at or 276-634-4185 to request scholarships

The Virginia Museum of Natural History has received a $10,000 grant from the Harvest Foundation to provide free museum educational programming to elementary and middle schools in Martinsville and Henry County.

Beginning September 1, 2018, The Pick Up the Pace! (PUP) grant will allow teachers and administrators to register their students for SOL-based programming led by museum educators through distance learning, inside the teachers' classrooms, or at the museum.  Teachers will be able to choose programming themes and delivery formats that directly supplement their classroom lessons.  Programs must be completed by February 28, 2019 per grant guidelines.

"In today's classroom environment, it's challenging to sacrifice instruction time for other enrichment activities," said DeWitt House, senior program officer at The Harvest Foundation. "The Virginia Museum of Natural History gives teachers a choice in how their students experience its programming. This program model enables teachers to further customize their classroom experience to offer the best available learning opportunities for students."

Christy Deatherage, who serves as the museum's education manager, echoed those statements.

"This generous grant by the Harvest Foundation makes it possible for the museum to give local teachers the opportunity to provide museum experiential learning programs to their students without having to worry about the financial burden," said Christy Deatherage, education manager at the museum.  "Through this grant, we will be able to provide more of our programming to the local educational community, which has been a tremendous supporter of the museum and its offerings for many years."

Beginning with this 2018-19 school year, teachers and administrators will be able to apply for scholarships through the museum, which will eliminate the fees required for each student to participate in museum programming.  Teachers will be able to choose from a wide variety of programs that focus on science, technology, engineering, math, health and history.

“The museum is excited about the additional opportunities we will be able to present through the funding received from the Harvest Foundation," said Mary Handy, president of the Virginia Museum of Natural History Foundation.  "The primary outreach is locally, but the impact will be far reaching as our visitor base continues to grow outside Virginia into surrounding states.”

The museum's educational programming provides students the opportunity to experience engaging, hands-on activities that directly supplement their classroom lessons. Museum educators utilize a variety of teaching tools that bring science lessons to life, including scientific specimens and artifacts, hands-on participatory experiences, and live animals.

"The museum prioritizes providing powerful, thought-provoking, educational experiences to students," said Deatherage. "The museum also has resources that aren't normally available to teachers in their classrooms, which can go a long way in sparking students' natural curiosities."

Teachers and educators interested in learning more about the scholarship program for the 2018-19 school year are encouraged to contact the museum at 276-634-4185 or