By Roslyn Anderson | April 6, 2021 at 6:49 PM CDT – Updated April 6 at 11:52 PM
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – For more than three years, buses from across the state and beyond brought students to the Mississippi Civil Rights and Mississippi History Museums.
That changed during the pandemic but now students are still roaming museum halls, now doing it virtually.
“These were three of the men that were killed, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner,” said MS Civil Rights Museum Curator of Education Roosevelt Hawkins, while pointing to a wall dedicated to three Civil Rights workers killed in Philadelphia in 1964.
Blackburn Middle School students are getting a virtual tour of the Freedom Summer exhibit at the museum. A camera and computer move throughout the galleries as details are shared about the exhibits.
The virtual tours bring to life what students are learning in class.
“Today’s tour was very enlightening for the students,” said Amber Spriggins. “A lot of my students have never been to the museum even though it’s right here in the Capital City.”
The sixth grade Social Studies teacher signed up her class for the virtual tour.
“I just thought about Freedom Summer because originally we were supposed to do it during Black History Month, but even though that wasn’t possible I still wanted them to be able to get a chance to see the museum virtually,” said Spriggins.
For over five months the Two Mississippi Museums have conducted 53 virtual field trips with 2,100 students from across the country.
“We’ve learned that people are interested in Mississippi history. They know that this is the place to learn about civil and human rights,” said Two Museums Deputy Director Rachel Myers. “So we’ve had school groups from California and from Washington D.C. who are studying civil rights history and know that this is the place to do it.”
Students and teachers can interact and ask questions during the visit. Teachers select the topics which are aligned with social studies curriculum.
“We think we’re having an impact on kids just to know the importance of history and telling these stories,” added Myers.
Six Mississippi History and six Civil Rights museum tours are offered.
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