Education is an important part of the Foundation’s mission! Thanks to grants from the Charles Jelm Foundation and the Ohio & Erie Canal Association (OECA), the Foundation partnered with the local Woodridge School System to bring over 40 students and teachers on a field trip to Peninsula in 2010. They were given tours of several of the Foundation’s facilities in Peninsula – the Designer’s Barn House Museum & Grounds, the G.A.R. Hall Museum, and the Bronson Church. The students also learned about the important historic preservation achievements of Robert L. Hunker, founder of the Foundation.
In addition to the grant funds from the OECA, the Foundation was privileged to work with Nancy Desmond, Interpretive Coordinator for the Ohio & Erie Canalway; she was a free resource available with the grant. Ms. Desmond trained our current adult docents as well as over a dozen student docents from Woodridge High School. She also trained the students on how to take oral histories and wrote the Foundation’s Interpretive Plan.
The Foundation continues to work with the Woodridge Schools. In June 2013, over 150 fourth graders from Woodridge Intermediate School visited the G.A.R. Hall and Bronson Church on their walking tour of Peninsula.
In November 2011, over 50 students from the gifted program at Woodridge Middle School visited the G.A.R. Hall Museum and Bronson Church. They were given tours of the buildings, a history of the Grand Army of the Republic, and an introduction to historic preservation. The students thoughtfully pondered what Peninsula would be like if the historic buildings had been destroyed or moved.
The Foundation supports the Arts Community in North East Ohio and the Region by offering venues and programming which advocate encouragement of the performing arts. The Foundation started the Voices in the Valley program, a nationally recognized music program to promote live music performances which add to the culture and vitality of the Cuyahoga Valley. The Foundation offers music workshops during the Music on the Porches event, which is organized by the Peninsula Foundation in cooperation with the Peninsula Area Chamber of Commerce and the Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Through funding from the Jelm Foundation, The Ohio Arts Council and the Akron Community Foundation, the Peninsula Foundation is expanding its music education programs to include master classes, centered around a weekend that focuses on a specific genre.