With a Focus on Future Careers—Anacostia Community Museum Hosts a Career Day Program

On Thursday, October 22, the Anacostia Community Museum (ACM) hosted a Career Day program to educate and inform students about some of the exciting and rewarding careers in the museum field. Career Day is a bi-annual one of a kind program (held every October and May) where the museum opens its doors to schools in the community to take part in an all-day experiential field trip to learn about the inner workings of the museum, received a behind-the-scenes tour, meet the museum staff and learn about their circuitous journey which lead them to work at the Smithsonian. A box lunch, educational resources and an afternoon field trip to another cultural institution are all highlights of this special day.

For this Career Day, ACM hosted an enthusiastic group of delightful 5th grade students and their teachers from Miner Elementary School (601 5th Street NE) in Ward 6. Career Day began with a welcome from the museum’s Director of Education and Outreach, Paul Perry, who discussed with the group his work at the museum working with his staff to develop public programs; followed by a guided tour with the curator Alcione Amos of How the Civil War Changed Washington; then a treasure hunt in the galleries with Education Specialist Linda Maxwell, to locate toys from the Civil War era.

The Miner students and teachers were divided into 2 groups to continue with a behind-the-scenes adventure with ACM staffer, Jenelle Cooper Tolson, Public Affairs Specialist who guided them to the staff areas of the, Library, Archives and Collection areas. In the staff areas we met Tykia Warden, Director of Advancement and Ingrid Faulkerson Advancement Specialist, who talk about how they raise funds for the museum and the Friends of the Museum program. In the Collection area, Dr. Joshua Gorman, the Collections Manager, displayed some artifacts that were excavated from a site in Southeast DC (in the Henson Ridge area) that showed how people lived during the Civil War. The students and teachers were all fascinated by the sled, horse saddle, various bottles and materials that people used in their everyday life back then. Jennifer Morris, Archivist, displayed a never seen before photographic portrait of African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, standing on a boat to Santo Domingo when he took on United States efforts to acquire the nation. Career Day ended at the Anacostia Community Museum with a box lunch and applause of gratitude and thanks from both students and teachers.

Our last stop and tour of the day was at the African American Civil War Memorial Museum, located at 1925 Vermont Ave NW., where students took part in a treasure hunt in the exhibition The Glorious March to Liberty: Civil War to Civil Rights and got a chance to meet and ask questions with a Union solider from the Civil War. The students receive a basic introduction to the Civil War and learned what life was like for soldiers from their duties, the items they carried on the battlefield and uniforms.

Group Leader and Librarian from Miner Elementary, Michelle Williams commented that,

The staff members at the Museums were very welcoming. They are passionate about what they do. We appreciate the time they took out of their busy schedule to share their role and responsibilities with our students. Our students enjoyed the program. They’re still talking about it.

Thanks again for inviting and hosting us!

As the students and teachers boarded on the bus back to Miner Elementary, they were all tired yet happy to have experienced Career Day at the Anacostia Community Museum.