Catalina Island News

Over 550 Avalon Students Visit the Museum!

Catalina Island Museum

The Catalina Island Museum invited all Avalon students to visit the museum for a docent-guided tour of the museum while the exhibit, The Lancer Legacy: A History of Avalon Schools, was still on display. The exhibit was curated by Avalon's own 6th grade Island Scholars and will close at the end of December.

Early in November, Curator Jeannine Pederson and Education & Volunteer Assistant Lynnette Takahashi met with retired schoolteachers and current museum docents, Karen McKay and Marsha Paull to set their plans in motion.  With the strategic planning skills worthy of a five-star general, Mrs. McKay mapped out a schedule that would allow for every single Avalon school class, from kindergarten to 12th grade, to visit the museum over a 3 week period.  On the busiest day, the Museum received 5 classes, from kindergarteners at 9:00 a.m. to 9th graders at 2:00 p.m.

Museum Curator Jeannine Pederson prepared 3 different grade-appropriate levels of curriculum for Mrs. McKay and Mrs. Paull to utilize during these visits.  Common areas to each level included an overview of the island's basic geography, the island's history of sportfishing, seaplanes, steamships, Native Americans, and of course, a tour of the Lancer Legacy exhibit.  Kindergarten through 2nd grade classes received a take home art project, while the upper grades received more in-depth information and enjoyed a scavenger hunt that led them to search for answers among the museum's exhibits.

Throughout the month of December, over 550 Avalon students visited the Catalina Island Museum.  Many were surprised and delighted to connect what they learned on their visits to stories told by their parents and grandparents, breathing new life into old family tales. Others, new to the island, got their first glimpse into the rich and unique cultural heritage of Santa Catalina Island. 

The Museum staff is pleased at the positive response to their invitation to Avalon Schools and grateful to all those who assisted in making this first-time event possible!  The Museum would like to thank school bus driver Desi Jones for the dozens of round-trips required, Wayne Herbst for valuable support in coordinating the field trips, and most particularly Karen McKay and Marsha Paull for their hard work and dedication to the education of Avalon's youth.