The Shelburne Museum recently saw almost 40 Mater Christi School fifth graders excitedly enter the Museum’s new Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education. The students will become a common sight because Mater Christi School and the Museum have joined in a partnership which will extend over six months. Once a month, the fifth grade spends half a day exploring the rich collections of the museum, gaining a greater understanding of museums, material culture, and traditional and contemporary art forms.
Mater Christi’s principal, Paul Jette; assistant principal, Anthony Fontana; fifth grade teachers, Betsy Martin and Nicole Hall; and art teacher, Hannah Robertson, formed the team which, through a series of meetings with the Shelburne Museum staff, created a curriculum that is aligned with the goals and standards of the school.
At their November visit, the students were introduced to the museum and oriented to its classroom and gallery spaces. In December, the youngsters explored Color, Pattern, Whimsy, and Scale. According to Shelburne Museum education officials, because this is a pilot program, activities may evolve as work on the partnership progresses.
Mater Christi staff members are very pleased with the project and the ease with which the students have adapted to a very different type of classroom experience.