BRISTOL, VA/TN – In light of recent news that the Tennessee Department of Education has terminated its contract with the company running the state's new TNReady standardized tests for grades 3-8, the Birthplace of Country Music extends an invitation to educators and classrooms to visit the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for free during the time they would have been testing.
In addition, bus transportation to the museum will be provided by sponsors interested in helping schools reinforce and review the year's learning through a museum visit.
"We serve as a resource and place of learning for the community, and we want to take this time to recognize the hard work of students and teachers," said Dr. Jessica Turner, museum director. "We urge area classrooms that are affected by this decision to come explore the museum. Our educational programming ties into state standards in many ways and strengthens what children have learned in social studies and language arts. Tennessee's music history is important in and of itself, but this history also conveys broad concepts in American history."
Experiential learning, like testing, reinforces educational materials learned in the classroom, helping analytical processing and retention. Visits to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum support the curriculum, and museum educators focus particularly on curriculum taught in Tennessee and Virginia. For example, Tennessee fifth graders learn about technology in the 1920s as part of their social studies curriculum. A visit to the museum provides an enriching experience and is a way to review this content in a hands-on way.
Besides a tour, the museum will offer tailored activities to suit different age groups of students.
"We offer lessons in Tennessee music history, America in the 1920s, technology and science of radio and recording, and economics," says Education and Outreach Manager Scotty Almany. "We have presented scavenger hunts in the museum and lessons on Elvis and Stax Studios that tie to standards of learning in fun ways. Where else can you begin with the modernization of the 1920s and end up dancing the funky penguin?"
Educators who wish to book a tour should email Education@BirthplaceofCountryMusic.org to schedule their visit, and should call 423-573-1927 with questions about transportation sponsorships and other logistics.
If you are interested in sponsoring a bus for a museum visit, contact 423-573-1927.