We have been busy bees here in the Education Department. In the month of October alone we had 423 people from school groups come to the museum! They came from all over: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, and Washington, D.C.
The majority of them came from City Springs Elementary and Middle School, one of our partner schools and neighbors (they are located on Caroline and Lombard). A class arrives here every morning with sleepy, but smiling faces. They’ve even inspired me to start arriving for work 10 minutes early, so I can get here before they do!
We’ve had every class from Pre-K through to 8th grade (with the exception of some 5th and 6th grade classes whose visits were postponed due to Sandy). We’ve been joking about how we’re seeing a sped-up version of child development (“Oh look, the children have gotten a little bigger today!”).
It really was fascinating to see how different each age group was. The youngest ones were always so eager to please: they hugged us and held our hands and tried valiantly to guess the answers to our questions (my all-time favorite is the kindergartener who, when Ilene was trying to teach them the word “history” by waving her hand over her shoulder to indicate the past, shouted “You’re hot! It’s hot in here!”). But with each progressing grade, we could see that they were a little more self-aware, able to absorb more information, and, most importantly, they able to ask more questions. They wanted to know what was brisket and why so many people voted for it as “The Most Jewish Food” in our Chosen Food exhibit. They were more comfortable saying that no, they had never tried matzah before, but they were eager to try challah or matzah ball soup.
There were a couple of things all of the grades had in common: they were all attentive and excited about learning, and they all professed their love for Oreos when they saw the picture of the famous cookie in Chosen Food!