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Community of Learners: Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth College

Hood Quarterly, autumn 2008

This summer marked the third year that the museum collaborated with Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD). SEAD is a program that expands educational and cultural opportunities for promising high school students from underresourced urban and rural schools. It encourages academic preparedness and personal growth through intensive summer immersions at Dartmouth as well as year-round mentoring by Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff. Students enrolled in the program come to Dartmouth for three consecutive summers.This innovative program received a Social Justice Award in 2007 as part of the College’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations.

The collaboration with the Hood has been overseen by Assistant Curator of Education Amy Driscoll, who, along with her colleagues in the museum’s education department, has created a wide range of learning encounters with original works of art for SEAD participants. In 2006, the high school students and Dartmouth mentors who were involved in SEAD I visited the museum for a tour that engaged them in the exploration of works of art and encouraged them to view museums as fun and educational places. Jay Davis, director of the program, commented afterward that the museum experience had transformed the way that many of the students thought about art.

During the summer of 2007 the SEAD program focused its activities around the theme of the environment and place. Students had the opportunity to tour the Wenda Gu installation in Baker Library, learn about arctic objects from A. Nicole Stuckenberger, guest curator of the museum’s Thin Ice exhibition, and view and discuss the Inuksuk built by Peter Irniq, former Commissioner of Nunavut, in front of the Admissions Office. This summer, SEAD participants and their Dartmouth student and faculty mentors explored the Black Womanhood exhibition and discussed topics as wide-ranging as colonialism, racism, misogyny, and identity.

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