UM Museum to Create Interactive Learning Space

Grant provides funding for expansion of education programs

Emily Dean (R) reviews plans for the new interactive learning space in the UM Museum with volunteer Tierney Charlton.

OXFORD, Miss. – A recent grant from the Lafayette Oxford Foundation for Tomorrow is helping the University of Mississippi Museum continue to build its educational programming.

The museum plans to use the LOFT grant for $3,993 to create an interactive educational area within its existing classroom space. The goal will be to facilitate discovery and exploration for young museum visitors.

“The museum has seen significant increases in its programming for children and families, reaching more than 11,000 children so far this year,” said Emily Dean, curator of education. “The new interactive area will help us improve the overall experience for these and more children.”

The museum is among six local agencies benefiting from the $14,493 in grants from LOFT. The museum project is slated to be completed by summer 2014. This proposal for the area was generously co-sponsored with a $500 donation from the Friends of the Museum to support the production of Family Learning Guides for young learners visiting the museum.

“Through the generosity of two groups deeply rooted in the local community, LOFT and the Friends of the Museum, their funding will enable the museum to better serve families for many years to come,” Dean said.

“Because LOFT’s mission is to increase quality of life, and we encourage projects that provide long-term benefits for the community, the UM Museum’s proposal was a home run,” said Laura Parkinson, LOFT director.

LOFT is a community organization that operations under the CREATE Foundation umbrella. The foundation maintains a deep commitment to supporting local efforts that improve the quality of life and opportunity in Oxford and Lafayette County.

“This is great recognition for many people who have never sought attention for what they have been doing: believing in and working for LOFT’s mission to enhance the quality for people in our community in numerous and various ways,” former Oxford Mayor Richard Howorth said

The University Museum is at the intersection of University Avenue and Fifth Street. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. For more information, visit http://museum.olemiss.edu or call 662-915-7073.

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