The McKenna Museums is expanding its educational outreach program in 2020 by offering free field trips and transportation to up to 2,000 elementary and secondary school students throughout the year thanks to a grant from The Helis Foundation. Students will be able to visit Le Musée de f.p.c., a house museum dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of free people of color through the program.

“Our goal is to reach as many 2,000 students throughout 2020” says Kimberly Coleman, McKenna Museums’ curator and historian. “Our school tours are designed to meet the education benchmarks in English/Language Arts, History, and Art for students in grades 7 through 12. Each student tour group will consist of 25 students accompanied by three chaperones. Each guided tour lasts 30 minutes with a 30-minute breakout session that will include a Q&A session.”

The McKenna Museums’ staff has reached out to dozens of area schools, extending the field trips to student groups. The field trips will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis throughout the year. 

“The Helis Foundation hopes these tours will engage and inspire learning and understanding among our young people,” said Jessie Haynes, Managing Director of The Helis Foundation. “Preserving our region’s unique history is of utmost cultural importance.”

The McKenna Museums is one institution in two locations, with each telling a different story. Beverly McKenna, co-founder and executive director of McKenna Museums, is excited about the opportunity to make McKenna Museums more accessible to students with the generous grant from The Helis Foundation. 

“Our museums have always been field trip destinations for school children,” says McKenna. “Students, teachers and other chaperones rave about their visits—the art, the history and culture that they encounter. Unfortunately, we began to hear one common echo from educators that accompanied students; and that refrain was that while the students gained invaluable knowledge from the tour, the costs associated with field trips were prohibitive, not only for the schools, but for the students and their parents. We are thankful to The Helis Foundation because this grant will allow area students to come and immerse themselves in wonderful history without worrying whether if they or their parents can afford it.” 

The grant will fund both the cost of admission for the schools and transportation, when needed. Learn more about The McKenna Museums at and

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