Two Port Alberni chapters of Beta Sigma Phi sorority have created a legacy that Alberni Valley Museum director Jean McIntosh hopes will boost student participation at the museum.
“We do know finances are a barrier for these schools to take these programs,” McIntosh said.
The Beta Sigma Phi legacy fund will now cover the fee for schools who sign up to take museum programs, she said.
Both Beta Sigma Phi preceptors, Xi and Gamma Beta, contribute to various charities and programs around the community. As they are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year, they decided to commemorate their own milestone by connecting community heritage with Port Alberni youth, McIntosh said.
“Penny (Coté) and I are really happy with the response that we’ve had,” said preceptor Xi member Linda Whiteman.
The museum has already seen an increase in school bookings, curator Shelley Harding said. “We’re already noticing a renewed use of the programs.”
The museum offers 10 different hands-on heritage programs, ranging from travel and dinosaur discovery to pioneering, electricity and archeology. The programs have been developed in concert with school district curriculums for Kindergarten to Grade 12, and the school district is on board, McIntosh said.
“I would say we have a steady subscription of the programs. Teachers are aware of them.”