The Fort Worth, Texas-based National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is bringing history to life for students across the nation, and even globally, through an innovative distance learning and on-site teaching program for low income or under-performing schools.
The “Discover the Wild West Scholarship,” funded by the Stephanie and Charles Roven Foundation of Los Olivos, California, specifically targets low-income and/or under-performing schools. The program provides, at no cost, 45-minute distance learning programs, along with supplementary instructional materials, to eligible schools nationwide with reciprocal equipment that do not have program funding. Furthermore, the program also provides complimentary admission for schools that otherwise would not be able to experience the Museum.
“The program has been available for several months and has already reached more than 1,300 students in Maine, New York and Pennsylvania,” said Vela. “Because the programs are supplied via video conferencing, teachers are finding it easy to incorporate into their curriculum.”
Students get an authentic taste for the lives of women who were the early change agents in American history. Among the 100 video conferences offered, students can learn about science by sorting, classifying and discovering how the basics of science play a role in the life of a rancher, or they can discover the story of the women of the American West during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century’s who displayed extraordinary courage and pioneer spirit in their trail blazing efforts. While they’re at it, students learn that “cowgirl” is a word that is broadly construed and incorporates many people who all played a role in the West – from artists to ranchers.
Schools eligible for the program are those that meet one or more of the below criteria:
- Exceptionally Rural – population between 2,500 and 5,000 (city population that the school is in)
- Rural – population between 5,001 and 10,000 (city population that the school is in)
- Mid-Rural – population between 10,001 and 20,000 (city population that the school is in)
- 50-75% of students are on the free and reduced lunch program
- 75% or more of students are on the free and reduced lunch program
Schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area can also take advantage of on-site Museum programs, where 1,000 students will be provided with complimentary admission for themselves and teachers, including transportation fees. Students will be provided a docent-led tour, interactive activity stations and take-home materials.
The application process is a simple one-page request form, signed by the campus principal or curriculum specialist. The form is available on-line at www.cowgirl.net or by calling 817.509.8961.