January 3, 2017

New Grant Funding for Whaling Museum to Help Local Youth with College Readiness and Success

Institute of Museum and Library Services grants $144,500 to high school apprenticeship program

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — The New Bedford Whaling Museum received a three-year $144,500 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to implement a suite of outreach services for its successful New Bedford high school Apprenticeship Program. In its 7th year, 47 students have successfully completed the Apprenticeship Program. One hundred percent of those apprentices graduated from high school and 100 percent were accepted to college or the military. One current apprentice is on track to receive her Ph.D. in May, while another was recently accepted into Cornell University.

From a pool of 548 applications, 206 museum projects were selected for the highly competitive Museums for America grant program.

“Museums play a vital role in their communities supporting learning experiences and inquiry for people of all ages, fostering civic engagement, and serving as stewards of collections that represent the nation’s cultural, historical, and scientific heritage,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The federal support provided by IMLS will help museums all over the country, enabling their best efforts to provide the highest level of public service.”

The Apprenticeship Program offers an opportunity for disadvantaged high school students to gain experience in a professional environment while engaging in college and career readiness activities. Apprentices receive stipends and are expected to commit four days each week to the museum. Apprentices are mentored in humanities and marine sciences. As they become fluent with the museum programs, high school seniors are encouraged to lead museum tours and actively participate in public programming.

The expanded suite of services supported by this grant will contribute to the program’s overall goal of developing pathways to success for apprentices and improving college persistence rates. Services incorporated into the program will include expansion of the program to high school sophomores; the formalization of a three-year curriculum that prioritizes academic achievement, college readiness, and career exploration; development of Apprentice Alumni support at Bristol Community College, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Bridgewater State University. Apprentice Alumni programming will establish support groups, workshops and events, and internships at the Museum to support apprentices while in college.

“Thanks to this grant, the Museum is better positioned to help students move past common obstacles as they transition to postsecondary education and earn degrees that lead to career success. We could not do this work without the support of IMLS,” said Sarah Rose, Vice President of Education and Programs, New Bedford Whaling Museum.


Contact: Tina Malott
New Bedford Whaling Museum


About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of human interaction with whales through time, and the history and culture of the South Coast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours: January through March, Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; April through December, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum is open until 8 p.m. every second Thursday of the month. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Admission is: Free for Museum members and children aged three and under; adults $16, seniors (65+) $14, students (19+) $9, child and youth $6. For more information, visit www.whalingmuseum.org.