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January 23, 2014

Graduate program working on community project

In the fall of 2013, the Cooperstown Graduate Program developed several projects to engage the local community. 

In November, the second year students in the Applied Museum Education course collaborated with Cooperstown Central School for the first time to create programming for autistic youth, said Katie Boardman, the professor of the course at CGP.

After observing classes, talking with CCS teachers, and participating in a webinar with the education staff at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City, CGP students crafted two workshops focused on cooking and music,” wrote Britney Schline, second year student from Cobleskill, in the History Museum Studies program in a press release.

The “Cozy Day” program took place at The Farmer’s Museum and included two stations: One where students used historical cooking methods to make fritters and fried apples and the next for making folk instruments out of cardboard boxes and other everyday items.

“It was a really neat prototype program,” Boardman said. “This was an ideal program for us. It was fun and enjoyable and it helped us collaborate with the community.”

Patrick Dickerson, second year student originally from Baltimore, Md., who assisted with creating the lesson plans for this event, said the collaboration with the CCS teachers was crucial in order to write the lesson plans.

“Every student has different abilities so we had to try to make a lesson plan that could be modified for each student,” he said.

A total of four or five family groups attended the day, Dickerson said.

Another program that students were involved with was developing plans for the use of a historic house in Cold Springs for Scenic Hudson, a non-profit environmental land conservation group based out of Poughkeepsie.

Gretchen Sorin, the director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program and distinguished professor of Museum Studies, said the students came up with a 50 to 60 page planning document that included three possible uses of the space. 

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