The Robert Russa Moton Museum was recently awarded a $162,000 federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to support the museum’s efforts to engage young visitors, especially schoolchildren.

“The Moton story teaches visitors about the capacity of everyday, local people to use their constitutional rights to create lasting social change,” said Moton Museum Director Cameron Patterson ’10, M.S. ’17. “Through this project, Moton will be able to engage visitors more deeply in the content we share and meet the learning needs of various age groups.”

The grant was awarded as part of the 2018 Museums for America program sponsored by IMLS. Funding will be used to

  • Develop a new education section for the museum’s website.
  • Create grade-appropriate lesson plans and online content that is aligned with Virginia’s newly revised K-8 Standards of Learning (SOL).
  • Develop new programs and activities for people who visit the museum—both physically and virtually.
  • Create professional development opportunities for teachers.

“Now that the Moton story is part of the Virginia SOLs, this grant will help the museum more effectively reach a broader audience that is hungry for educational materials,” said Longwood Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Larissa Smith Fergeson, who is also a resident historian at the Moton Museum.

The news of the grant award comes on the heels of Moton’s inclusion in a new initiative that connects African-American museums around the country—a joint project of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the American Association for State and Local History. Moton was selected through a competitive process to be one of seven museums in the inaugural cohort.

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