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The Oh So Busy Month of July


The 2009 participants in Blanton Scholars program posing with Frank Deford.

July is a very busy month for us here in the education office at the Virginia Historical Society. Next week we have our first of two teacher programs for the month—the E. Claiborne Robins, Jr., Teachers Institute. Teachers applied from all over the commonwealth, and twenty were selected to partake in a week-long program that examines the civil rights movement in Virginia. This year’s theme was chosen because 2010 is the 50th anniversary of the Virginia Union University student protest against racial segregation in the restaurant of the Thalhimers flagship store in downtown Richmond. The following week is our Wyndham B. Blanton Scholars Forum. During the forum we are hosting fourteen Virginia high school students for four days as they learn and discuss the “Changing Face of Virginia.” Their work will culminate with the creation of several blogs and video content for our online exhibition The Story of Virginia: An American Experience. Finally, the last week in July we will host thirty teachers for our first ever “The Story of Virginia: An American Experience” Teachers Institute. This program provides an overview of Virginia history from the earliest inhabitants to the present day and follows the curriculum framework for Virginia Studies.

We are particularly excited about the society’s annual Free Family Day Open House on Saturday, July 17. The open house is in conjunction with our World War II photographs exhibition. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will host a variety of special events—from a trivia contest to swing dance lessons. We will even have a set of WWII vehicles on display! There will also be an activity room for children and a scavenger hunt. Education and Virginia House staff will be on hand in the activity room, which will be in the Weinstein Education Classroom.

Outreach Educator Jennifer Nesossis with two children in the activities room during the 2009 open house.

In the activity room there will be coloring activities, a graffiti wall, and a WWII rationing activity—just to name a few. We will also have an opportunity for kids to learn about Victory Gardens by planting their own “mini-Victory Garden.” To learn more about our annual open house please visit our website ( or contact Cynthia Moore at Also don’t forget to tell your friends and neighbors about the event!

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