SALEM, Mass.—The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has been awarded a $150,000 grant to help build educational partnerships with schools in Salem.

The grant from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation – a foundation administered by Fleet National Bank, a Bank of America Company, which also serves as trustee, will go towards removing financial barriers that have kept resource-challenged schools in Salem from participating in the museum’s educational offerings. The grant will enable educators to draw on the museum’s vast collections in ways that help meet the requirements of recently revised curricula in Massachusetts.

"The Peabody Essex Museum’s collection, the fourth largest in the country, can provide students with a context for the study of North America, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and other countries. This grant allows us to work closely with individual teachers in Salem to tailor programs to address students’ specific needs," says Ray Williams, Director of Education at the Peabody Essex Museum.

"Multiple visits works best," added Williams. "This is something we did in a pilot project with Bates Elementary school; we found a series of visits allowed teachers to more effectively integrate the collections into the curriculum. The grant is designed to support multiple visits."

The cost of specially designed school visits such as the ones being developed at the museum average $5 per student, in addition to the cost of transportation. The grant from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation will help PEM waive these costs to participating schools.

The museum has also begun recruiting for a new museum educator to develop the program.

With the grant from the Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation, the PEM will significantly extend the range of learning experiences at the museum, and will especially target these efforts to students in Salem.

The Lloyd G. Balfour Foundation – a foundation administered by Fleet National Bank, a Bank of America Company, which also serves as trustee, promotes access to educational efforts for underserved populations.

About the Peabody Essex Museum Education Department

Since its reopening in 2003, the Peabody Essex Museum has made education and outreach a priority, creating programs such as: the Museum Action Corps internship program, which offers a paid internship for high school and college students, and builds cultural awareness and leadership skills; Salem in History, a federally funded collaboration with Salem State College, the National Park Service, and Salem Public Schools to support the teaching of American history through primary source materials; and National Endowment for the Humanities teacher institutes. Through its collections, the museum specializes in creating connections between classroom content and students’ daily lives. The programs enrich classroom activities and are aligned with state and district-wide guidelines, including the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Art, English, Language Arts, History and Social Science, Mathematics, and Science and Technology/Engineering.

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April Swieconek  -  Director of Public Relations  -  978-745-9500 X3109  -

Whitney Van Dyke  -  Director of Communications  -  978-542-1828  -

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