Museum Education Programs Development Continues

Museum Education Programs Development Continues

 “Does this photo show a caring or mean action?” asks the facilitator during a session testing the kIDsafe program for preschoolers and kindergarteners. A participant holds up a sign indicating she thinks it’s a mean action.

Construction on the National Law Enforcement Museum building is in full swing, and thanks to a generous grant from the Verizon Foundation, so are efforts to build the Museum’s slate of educational programs. 

Awarded at the end of 2008, the $1.5 million grant has supported development of domestic violence awareness and school-age student programming. Grant funds for interactive technology and exhibits in the Museum will be used once Museum construction is further along. 

Funding from Verizon has supported development of domestic violence (DV) awareness programs, which seek to increase awareness of this often private and volatile problem, thereby contributing to a safer society.  Programs to address DV are a natural fit for the National Law Enforcement Museum, since according to FBI statistics, no assignment poses more uncertainty and potential hazard to an officer than a domestic disturbance call.  DV awareness programs are the first of several more community-focused Socially Responsible Education Programs to come, which will work to have a positive effect in areas deeply important to the community and the Museum’s visitors.

Click on photo to view larger image.

 A student beta tests “Take the Case: Chain of Evidence” for Museum educators. Students played the game while an educator observed; they also offered written feedback. 

The innovative “Domestic Violence Awareness Program” has been developed for school professionals in partnership with the Education Development Center.  The program will train teachers, administrators, school counselors, guidance counselors, and other staff members to identify, address, and support students who are exposed to DV at home.  Activities addressing healthy relationships for a range of ages have also been developed through Verizon’s support.  These activities will eventually become part of monthly “kIDsafe Saturday” family days, which will feature age-appropriate activities for the whole family on a range of safety topics that affect their daily lives.

Verizon’s grant has also enabled the Museum to work on programs for school-age students, part of its still-growing slate of education programs that will become available over the next two years.  “What’s in the Evidence?”, a classroom-based forensic science program; an online forensic science educational game called “Take the Case: Chain of Evidence;” and a civics-infused walking tour called “Policing: Where Democracy Meets the Streets” have all been created and have gone through early testing with support from Verizon.  The Museum has also been able to begin developing partnerships with organizations such as the Center for Civic Education and schools such as the Columbia Heights Educational Campus in Washington, DC.  These partnerships help us reach more students, develop programs in line with educators’ and students’ needs, and work with experts in a variety of fields to create strong, effective programs.

The Verizon Foundation’s generous support of the interactive technology in the Museum will be fully realized beginning in 2012, when development of those portions of the core exhibition begins.

Using the efforts of the last two years as a springboard, Museum Education Programs staff will be continuing to create programs.  When the Museum opens, all the programs mentioned above will be offered alongside programs for adults, special lectures and events, gallery-based programs, and so much more.  Every program has the ultimate goal of building mutual respect and fostering cooperation between the public and the law enforcement profession.

Exciting times are ahead—continue reading this newsletter and our website for more information, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us with ideas, partnership suggestions, support, and more.  We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you soon!



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