Museum and School District Join Forces

Museum and School District Join Forces


Valdez, Alaska, April 22, 2020 – Each spring Museum Educator Faith Revell normally visits elementary school classrooms to share artifacts from the VMHA collection and offer learning opportunities for students. In May she usually takes to up to 60 students on field trips to the Remembering Old Town Exhibit and on guided walks around Old Town Valdez. 

But due to health concerns over COVID-19 schools are closed for the rest of this school year. So Revell is working with local teachers to create meaningful programs they can use for online classes. She has designed a series of worksheets that teach students about Native Alaskan culture and practices. They show photos of objects and offer a written explanation. Some are from the collection and some are obtained for educational purposes, like the birch bark baskets she describes here:

“This birch bark basket along with others were transported to the Museum in 2013 by the artist Chris Sam and her husband in the middle of a raging Alaskan snowstorm. I remember meeting her and thinking what a miracle that she arrived and shared her beautiful work. The Museum consigned and sold her baskets in the store thereafter. That same day, however, and despite the weather, Sam and her husband got back in their truck and traveled back up the road to the Interior and home. Unforgettable.” 

She has also created a worksheet that shows an Alutiiq War Club and Shield, and one that features a Wooden Nettle Shuttle. Revell enjoys doing research and sharing educational materials, but says she misses the personal connection with teachers and students,

“I love bringing people together, it is inherent in my work as an educator and an artist.”

Making the transition from teaching in classrooms to creating “virtual” learning tools means Revell is exploring more of the VMHA collection online. She wants everyone to know,

“The Museum is open and accessible to learning!”

Museum staff are constantly creating new online programs that teach, entertain and stimulate creative energy. Videos, photos and a variety of programs are posted on our website, with links to videos on our Facebook page.

Stay safe, stay healthy and enjoy the Valdez Museum–“virtually” of course!