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After-school programs at Port Discovery

The after-school program at Port Discovery is not like most after-school programs. The program meets twice a month for students in third and fourth grades. They also have a cultural arts approach to encourage children to learn about cultures from different regions around the world.

“We offer it to after-school programs that are up and running. [The after-school programs] can, for a nominal fee per child, bring their groups here,” said Wendy Blackwell, Director of Education. “The child is in an after-school program, and the after-school program brings them.”

Currently, the cultural theme is the Caribbean. Instructors will have storytelling, music, dance, games, and crafts on Caribbean culture. Nora Moynihan, Community Partnerships Coordinator at Port Discovery, describes the events that go on during the after-school program.

“The kids have drumming lessons, dancing lessons, and they make Mardi Gras masks,” said Moynihan. “They could be learning a new dance move and Olu (a volunteer who teaches African dancing) will scream, ‘Come show me this place on the map,' and the kids have to dance and show her on the map. We try to infuse fun into everything.”

The instructors say the children enjoy these programs and have had great time learning about different cultures.

“We switch our programs every 13 weeks, so for instance in the summer we'll have the farm, and the place where we are doing clay now will become soap making,” said Rachel Cruz, who develops the arts component of the after-school program.

Blackwell assures that the after-school program will have space to accommodate more individual after-school programs.

“We have the capacity to serve about 1,200 kids during the school year that way,” said Blackwell. “I don't think this year we are up to capacity.”

Individual after-school programs can visit the museum from October through May. There is a program fee of $5 for child. Adult chaperones are free of charge.

To learn more about Port Discovery's after-school programs contact Kelly Oglesbee at (410) 864-2716 or visit Port Discovery's Web site.

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Transcription of Interview - Port Discovery