About Me

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Hello and welcome to Traveling Exhibits Inspiration Ave. My name is Lisa and I'm the Exhibits Coordinator for Teacher's Discovery. It is truly an honor and a privilege to work with teachers and librarians throughout the United States in giving the gift of awe, inspiration and a museum experience to their students and patrons. Working with you has been so rewarding for me and I am moved and inspired daily with the heartfelt experiences that have been shared with me from so many who have hosted a Traveling Exhibit(s). When an educator is inspired it's contagious and therefore their students are inspired too. I will do my best always, to assist you in giving the best exhibition that will enrich the lives of all who are witness to our Spectacular Exhibits. With this blog I will share pictures,comments, ideas and activities that have been shared with me and use it as a tool for you to inspire your peers.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hal & the Eco-Maniacs Encourage Us All to Be the Change, to Be Green

Hal Lederman and his Principal Dr. Joyce Raynor from SSDSEU aka Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex & Union in West Orange, NJ have set an exemplary example of Being the Change and Being Green to their students, staff and community. They host an annual Community Service Day at their school and this year our Global Warming Traveling Exhibit was a beautiful and informative addition to their program. Hal was kind enough to provide me with a photo album featuring lots of students working hard together, student artwork using recycled materials and many other activities. There are some really great ideas here that will insire you, your students and staff . http://picasaweb.google.com/hlederman/Jan212009# When I read Hal's email, I decided that he's definitely the one who should be telling you his story. So with that being said, here's Hal in his own words.

Normally I teach 11th grade U.S. history and a senior year economics elective. Growing up in New Jersey, my family and I started to recycle glass and aluminum in the 1960s. During my college days I became an avid backpacker and when I became a teacher, I often organized and participated in outdoor educational programs and clubs. Three years ago I was asked by our principal, Dr. Joyce Raynor, to form and advise a school-wide environmental program that would include a student club (we call ourselves the Eco-Maniacs). Dr. Raynor is so committed to the environment that she won't turn on the light in her office! With her support, we embarked on an aggressive campaign to "green" our school. Since the club's inception, we have achieved the following:

1. Put our trash hauling contract up for competitive bid and found a hauler who would also properly dispose of our recyclables, including paper, corrugated boxes, plastic, aluminum, glass, and steel cans at a cost savings of $9000 annually from that of a previous hauler,

2. Purchased individual classroom and office recycling containers for paper, co-mingled containers, and trash,

3. Developed a school-wide educational program on the proper disposal of school waste, including annual waste audits,

4. Through Rutgers University, instituted the purchase of multi-purpose paper with a recycled content of 30% post-consumer paper,

5. Introduced recycled facial tissue and bathroom paper,

5. Replaced standard cleaning products with green seal cleaners,

6. Replaced standard fluorescent tubes with energy efficient T-1 bulbs,

7. Purchase our electricity from a provider who uses renewable resources,

8. Instituted battery and computer recycling programs, and

9. Achieved Green Office certification.

Our goals for this year include:

1. Building an outdoor composting site and educating students about composting,

2. Replacing disposable utensils, paper plates, napkins, and Styrofoam cups with environmentally friendly products, and

3. Retiring Styrofoam trays, aluminum foil products, and chopsticks used by our food service.

Our school works closely with an organization called Green Flag Green Faith: http://www.greenfaith.org/

I hope that answers your questions. In March our history department takes the juniors to Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and New York's Lower East Side. Hopefully, I will be able to rent the Ellis Island traveling exhibit. Meanwhile, the Global Warming kits was phenomenal and many were disappointed when it was taken down.

I hope that sharing this inspirational story will encourage you to be the change in your school.
If your school is Green then lets hear about it. Inspired Minds Want to Know.
Lisa ~ Your Traveling Exhibits Coordinator

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Teacher's Choice Awards, What's Your Vote?

I am so proud to tell you that our Vincent van Gogh and Ellis Island Traveling Exhibits are both winners of 2008 Teacher's Choice Awards. They are currently featured in Learning Magazine here's a link for a free copy and they have a great website too. This publication is a great tool to have when planning for your funding, whether you're writing grant proposals, contacting local business owners, or art and education foundations. Just a little FYI, there.
On another note,
The Teacher's Choice Awards are coming soon, I'm thinking that we should definitely submit the M.C. Escher Traveling Exhibit. What do you think? You are hosting these exhibits, which are your favorites? I'll look forward to your comments.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Traveling Exhibits visits Harbor Beach, Michigan

For my very first blog I have to tell you about a road trip that I had last Spring. A visit with Spanish Teacher Jon Fruytier at Harbor Beach Community School while they were hosting their finale of a nine exhibit experience with the Vincent van Gogh Traveling Exhibit in May of 2008. Harbor Beach, Michigan is a quaint, small town in the tip of the thumb on Lake Huron. With that being said, too far for a museum field trip to the DIA in Detroit. Jon was inspired, came up with a plan and has brought the museum experience into his home town via Fed Ex. Jon has been hosting the exhibits in his school for the last two years now, with 10 reserved for this year.
"How has he done this?" you ask. First, by giving local business owners the opportunity to fund the exhibits for their community school. He was inspired by our exhibits so much that he stepped out of the box and approached the local vet and rotary club for funding and that's how it started. He expressed the need and importance of the exhibit experience for his students and his community. And second, by using our press kits that we provide for the exhibits. Jon contacted the local papers and radio stations; which did a fabulous job publicizing the Traveling Exhibits and their sponsors. Jon has hosted field trips for schools in nearby districts and has also opened up the school to the public during certain hours of the day to view the exhibits.
In my exhibits road trip I was able to experience just what an impact the Traveling Exhibits have on students of all ages. It was obvious that these kids have been learning from this larger than life size exhibit and retaining the information. Kindergartners to upper level students where raising their hands with excitement to answer questions about Vincent van Gogh and his artwork and took pride in telling their interpretations on the pieces of art. They enjoyed teaching me about van Gogh. I was also able to see how our free download materials that we offer such as the Did You Know posters are displayed and can be useful tools in making art personal and more interesting with trivia and fun facts, provoking the hmm factor...
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to see first hand the Traveling Exhibit Experience and to work along side such dedicated educators like Jon Fruytier and so many of you reading this blog. If you'd like to read more about Jon Fruytier and Harbor Beach, MI here are some links to just a couple of his press releases.