KRA Youth Widen Cultural Horizon

Fifteen Youth Employment Success (YES) program participants have been visiting museums to assist them in linking theories, learned in their YES classes, to real-world practices. On February 10, 2011, they visited the Academy of Natural Sciences and on February 25, 2011, The Franklin Institute, both of which are in Philadelphia, PA.  For some students, these trips represented their first time going to “Philly”, and a few expressed a little anxiety about taking the train from Camden across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. However, in the end, excitement overcame treidation and all the students thoroughly enjoyed the trips, museum exhibits, and the opportunity to learn outside the classroom. On March 4, 2011, the students made a really special trip to a facility known locally as the “hidden” museum. As the story goes, an extremely dedicated and innovative gentleman created an “African American Museum” in Camden, but could not receive certification as an “official” museum due to a lack of public funds to support the endeavor. Undaunted, he built a theater room that runs black historical films; collected books and artifacts related to African American history; and created museum-type displays. The project has been featured in the Camden Courier Post a few times, but otherwise does not receive much publicity. Having discovered this hidden treasure, KRA will continue to support its mission and ensure that program participants, youth and adult, are exposed to all it has to offer the community.