The Kentucky Gateway Museum Center is one of 17 organizations recently awarded grants by the Kentucky Historical Society from the Kentucky Local History Trust Fund, a funding pool that supports local history organizations’ efforts to preserve and tell Kentucky’s stories.
The money helps, in part, to fund the Museum Scout program, which allows fourth-grade students from Mason County and St. Patrick schools to get an idea about museum operations from almost every aspect, according to Tandy Nash, who coordinates the program and helps develop the curriculum.
"We are very excited to receive this grant funding from the Kentucky Historical Society," C. J. Hunter, KYGMC executive director said. He too cited the importance of the funding to the Museum Scouts program, "one of the unique outreach programs in the commonwealth."
While Nash helps develop the curriculum, a number of teachers are consulted for ideas on what to include for the program, which has sessions in both spring and fall.
Keeping students interested in the past is key to preserving the museum for the future, Nash said.
"They are our stewards of history, our liaison to the community...," she said.
Outreach programs such as the Scouts have helped to almost double attendance at the museum over a period of two years, Hunter said.
"We're really excited about those numbers," he said.
Another unique program provides artifacts from certain time period to classrooms to coordinate with books for that period students are studying. And other programs are geared toward older students, even college students, Hunter said.
Seventeen organizations from 16 Kentucky counties received the grants totaling $22,217. Individual amounts range from $856 to $1,500 for projects related to collection conservation, education, promotion, exhibits and strategic planning.
KYGMC received $1,500, for educational programming.
Local History Trust Fund money comes from Kentuckians who donate a portion of their state income tax refund. In its two grant cycles, 30 Kentucky organizations from 26 counties have received a total of $31,271 from the grant pool. The Kentucky Historical Society administers the fund by accepting applications and awarding grants. More information is at history.ky.gov/get-involved/support-local-history/.