Hill-Stead Receives “We’re Pulling for You” Grant from SBM Charitable Foundation

Hill-Stead Receives “We’re Pulling for You” Grant from SBM Charitable Foundation, Affording East of the River Students Free Educational Opportunities

The SBM Charitable Foundation (SBMCF) has awarded Hill-Stead a “We’re Pulling for You” grant for $9,783.00 in support of the “Art, Poetry, and History at Hill-Stead Museum” program for area students in East Hartford, Vernon, and Manchester. It will supplement the initial $24,130 grant awarded in 2019, unexpectedly upended due to coronavirus.

Dr. Anna Swinbourne says, “SBM Charitable Foundation’s generous funding is the backbone of our educational programs. Hill-Stead is deeply grateful for SBMCF’s continued commitment to supporting educational programs through its funding for art, history, and poetry at our diverse and dynamic institution.”

Before the pandemic, Hill-Stead’s program hit a milestone in 2019 when it served more than 1,000 students, as part of this program, in four months. 2020 has not quashed Hill-Stead’s tireless education initiatives. The beloved institution now offers virtual programs for all levels of students, kindergarten through college, both pre-recorded slides and live visits via each school’s preferred platform. Programs include activities and can be customized to meet each teacher’s specific curriculum goals.

Kate Ebner, Hill-Stead’s Director of Education, says, “Thanks to the generous funds received from the SBMCF, Hill-Stead will be able to purchase the technology and dedicate staff time to creating high-quality virtual programs for remote learning. Of course, we look forward to welcoming students back to Hill-Stead for in-person visits soon. In the meantime, our grounds remain open for “nature’s classroom,” too!”

Every year, Hill-Stead hosts thousands of students across the state from elementary schools to high schools and universities. During 2020, we forged ahead with remote learning programs such as our Grand Tour series and new outdoor nature & art initiatives, and zoom workshops for senior centers and schools. This fall, we began welcoming school groups back to our campus, realizing it’s a great time to be learning outdoors. Spending time in nature has proven to improve children’s ability to focus, increase academic achievement, support problem-solving skills, and enhance creativity.

“Hill-Stead’s programs make a wonderful impact on the lives of so many schoolchildren in our area communities,” said Doreen Downham, Executive Director of the SBM Charitable Foundation.  “The SBMCF is delighted to continue our funding support of the Museum to provide such creative educational enrichment programs for East of the River students.”

The SBM Charitable Foundation, Inc., perpetuating the vision of the former Savings Bank of Manchester, is committed to bettering the lives of those who live and work predominantly East of the River in Hartford, Tolland, and Windham Counties. Priorities established for the Foundation’s giving are Health, Human Services, Education, Housing, and the Arts.

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