Unpacking The Past Receives Grant

Barry Graves, for GPA -- The Penn Museum (3260 South St.) has recently received the National Endowment for Arts Grant thanks to its fairly new program for seventh graders, teachers and families. The program has gained support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) organization which has offered $20,000 to help the program continue its growth.

The program, called Unpacking the Past, has played a pivotal role in encouraging Philadelphia youths to explore the art and culture of ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and Romans. The program began in October 2014, spawned from a coalition of the School District of Philadelphia, the Knowledge is Power Program and Mastery Charter Schools.

The Unpacking the Past program encompasses a curriculum of arts, engineering, math, science and technology and is granted to participants without cost to them. This program yields a bounty of benefits, such as professional development training to teachers, provided school supplies and a membership to the Penn Museum for that participant’s family for a year, just to name a few. The program is also far-reaching, accommodating 5,000 students from 64 schools, including Autistic children.

The program has much planned for the future, such as workshops for teachers and museums tours. It is mostly financed through grants and donations, ranging from $700,000 to $1,000,000 from various companies and organizations like the Annenberg Foundation and PECO. Together with the $20,000 grant from the NEA, the program seems to be well-funded and able to make a greater impact in the lives of Philadelphia teachers and students. 

Image courtesy of UPenn.