Richmond Public School students have been making their way to The Valentine for field trips since 1902, ranging from Pre-K to high school and covering topics ranging from the Powhatan Indians, colonial communities, segregation-intergration, The Civil War, and the past and present history of Richmond.
Plenty of what students see and experience at The Valentine is hands-on, making the learning process interactive.
“We look at the Standards of Learning guidelines carefully and decide what we can offer here at The Valentine that correlates to those SOLs,” explained Shannon Petska, director of public programs for The Valentine.
Access to these artifacts of the past come at no cost for Richmond Public Schools, allowing students easy access to incredible pieces of Richmond’s history. That free access has been part of The Valentine for years, even during the decades of Jim Crow, where discrimination against black men, women, and children was not uncommon, especially in education.
“For a very long period of Richmond history, if you were a black kid in Richmond Public Schools, this is the only place you could come for a field trip,” said Bill Martin, director of The Valentine.
“In our mission, it says to educate all citizens as to what we have here in Richmond. It’s really all we do – we want to educate, not just students, but really everyone about Richmond, what they can do in their communities, and the changing communities,” Martin closed.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond