Grant funds museum field trips for local students

OCEANSIDE — All Oceanside Unified School District fifth-grade students, for the next three years, will have the opportunity to visit the Oceanside Museum of Art for a private museum tour and hands-on learning activities.

The fifth-grade field trip is possible thanks to a $72,000 grant from the Price Family Charitable Fund that funds the ArtQuest@OMA program and Oceanside Education Foundation funds for field trip busing.

Joanna Hoyer, 5, of San Ramon, studies “Into Legend” by William Glen Crooks at the Oceanside Museum of Art thanks to a grant allowing students to take field trips to museums. Photo by Promise Yee

ArtQuest@OMA began last spring and 630 students participated in the program.

This spring, grant funding will allow all 1,500 fifth-graders to participate.

The goal of the program is to expose children to the museum, connect them to art and other curriculum areas, and give them the opportunity to participate in a creative, hands-on activity.

“ArtQuest@OMA provides a free, standards-based program that allows access to the museum as an extension of their classroom,” Ed Fosmire, executive director of Oceanside Museum of Art, said. “Through this school/museum partnership, we can support the teachers’ efforts in not only teaching about the arts, but also teaching other curriculum subjects through the arts.”

Classes meet up with trained volunteer docents who give students child-oriented tours of art exhibits, explain art techniques and demonstrate hands-on crafts.

For many fifth-grade students, the field trip is their first visit to a museum.

“Forty percent have never been to a museum,” Julia Fister, Oceanside Museum of Art education coordinator, said. “They also get a free family pass so they can bring their whole family back.”

Lessons are designed to meet Common Core State Standards in science, history, language arts and art.

ArtQuest@OMA lessons change each spring to complement the main exhibit on display.

Last year students viewed Botanicals: The Photography of Imogen Cunningham. Docents explained how a camera captures images and guided students to draw the detailed structure of a flower.

“It was a delight to watch the students working on their flower pictures,” Dr. Adrienne Hakes, Oceanside Unified School District board member, said. “They were very focused and worked hard to include all the parts of the flowers. I don’t think they realized that they were getting a science lesson too.”

This year students will tour The Point of View: William Glen Crooks exhibit of landscapes and cityscapes. Docents will point out the foreground, middle ground and background in the compositions, and ask students to draw a scene from their own unique point of view.

Oceanside Museum of Art is located at 704 Pier View Way.

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