MAG-RCSD Expanded Learning Collaboration

The MAG RCSD Expanded Learning Collaboration (2017-18)

The Memorial Art Gallery-Rochester City School District (MAG–RCSD) Expanded Learning Collaboration is a museum-based learning partnership that currently serves every student in grades 1-4 at School #23, grades 2-5 at School #29, and grades 1-2 at School #45 in Rochester, New York. As part of this museum-school repeat visit partnership, each student visits MAG once a week for ten consecutive weeks during the school year, engaging in a series of curriculum-based hands-on and in-gallery experiences.

The MAG RCSD Expanded Learning Collaboration (2016-17) brought students from the same schools: Francis Parker School #23, Adlai E. Stevenson School #29, and Mary McLeod Bethune School #45.

Students spend a portion of their time looking at a piece of art in the collection and take part in a discussion about the art, guided by one of the museum’s docents. This talk connects to the art they will then make back in the Creative Workshop. It’s a program that seeks to teach students not only how to make art, but how to look at and talk about art and how to experience it in the context of a museum. Read more about the program in this POST Rochester article.

The program coordinators work closely with the teachers and principals at the schools to make the lessons relevant to the work being done back in their classrooms, but part of the success of the program is bringing them outside of the classroom to experience something new. In addition to enhancing their knowledge of art, it has also had a positive effect on behavior. Students learn how to interact in the museum in a polite and respectful way toward one another, and teachers notice how this impacts their attitude beyond their time at the MAG.

Moving forward, organizers hope to expand the program beyond the three schools currently involved, and for it to become a model for programs in other cities across the country.

The MAG RCSD Expanded Learning Collaboration is sponsored by the Rochkind-Wagner Foundation, with additional support from the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, KeyBank Foundation, Wan Jou Family Foundation in memory of Shi-Ling C. Hsiang, Doug and Abby Bennett, Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Schwartz, and an anonymous donor. The program is also supported by a grant from the New York State Education Department made possible by Senator Joseph E. Robach.