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“Echoes of Moses” Harriet Tubman Bicentennial

“Echoes of Moses” Harriet Tubman Bicentennial

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2022
Contact: Sabina Ramsey
716.308.6208
sabina@insightcommunications.co
Harriet Tubman Bicentennial to be Celebrated March 10 in Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls was Vital ‘Last Stop’ on Tubman’s Journeys Leading Freedom Seekers to Canada
 
(NIAGARA FALLS, NY) — An event March 10 at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center will celebrate the bicentennial of Harriet Tubman’s birth and her connection to Niagara Falls.

“Echoes of Moses” will take place from 6 to 7:30 pm. Thursday, March 10, at the Heritage Center, which is located at 825 Depot Ave. West. The event will include activities for the whole family, culminating in the release of biodegradable lanterns. Participants must register before the event and can do so here. The cost is $8 for singles, $12 for couples and $25 for families. Heritage Center members get a 50 percent discount on tickets.

The event will bring the community together to celebrate the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman for her Bicentennial. Bicentennials are the two-hundredth anniversary of a significant event, and Tubman’s birth 200 years ago is most certainly a significant event in American history. The Echoes of Moses event is being held on March 10 – which is celebrated nationally as Harriet Tubman Day – as that was the date she passed away in 1913.

“Two hundred years ago, we were blessed with the birth of Harriet Tubman, who grew to touch the lives of freedom seekers around her as she escaped slavery and returned on multiple occasions to free her enslaved brothers and sisters,” said Kiara Santiago, Public Programs Coordinator at the Heritage Center. “We celebrate the strong, resilient, and fearless woman who continues to inspire us today.”

After escaping from slavery, Tubman returned south on numerous occasions to help other enslaved individuals and lead them to freedom in Canada. The last stop on the journey was Niagara Falls, New York, and you can actually see the remnants of the former Suspension Bridge that Tubman crossed with those she was leading to freedom from the Heritage Center.

The “Echoes of Moses” event name is in reference to Tubman’s nickname, “Moses,” which was given to her as an analogy to the biblical story of Moses, who led the Jews out of Egypt to free them from slavery.

Upon arrival, participants will check-in at the desk in the atrium, and will then be split up into appropriate age groups.

Adults and parents will go on a tour of the Heritage Center. Teenagers and middle schoolers will break off to learn about Tubman and all that she did, followed by a trivia game; and children will engage in storytime and Harriet Tubman-related coloring sheets that were specifically designed for the event.

After an hour or so, Santiago will have everyone gather together again before the evening’s main event, a lantern release.

The biodegradable lanterns symbolize hope and the continuance of the light Harriet Tubman initially turned on when she escaped from slavery and returned multiple times to help other enslaved individuals.

Interested participants can register for the event here.

View media files here. Included photo is of the mural, “Harriet Tubman: A Light of Hope,” by artist Madonna Pannell, which is located across from the Heritage Center.

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About the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center
The mission of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center is to reveal authentic stories of Underground Railroad freedom seekers and abolitionists in Niagara Falls and to inspire visitors to recognize modern injustices that stem from slavery and to take action toward an equitable society. The Heritage Center is an experiential museum operating every Thursday through Sunday during the Winter season. We offer self-guided tours, facilitated guided tours, school field trips, and numerous public programs throughout the year. Through meaningful interpretive experiences, engaging public programs, services and events, we expand each visitor’s understanding of and appreciation for the Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls and the enduring impact of slavery in the United States.

Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center Sets Black History Month 2022 Events

Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center Sets Black History Month 2022 Events

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2022 Contact: Sabina Ramsey 716.308.6208
sabina@insightcommunications.co

Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center Sets Black History Month Events

(NIAGARA FALLS, NY) — As part of the commitment to preserving and promoting the legacy of and bringing visibility to Black stories in Niagara Falls, there are several events and programs slated in February to celebrate Black History Month.

This year’s theme is “Illuminating Voices: Connecting the Past to the Present.” In February, the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center will honor Black History Month by celebrating the rich history of people of African descent in Western New York by connecting historical events to modern social issues.

The Heritage Center offers this kind of programming year-round, so to enhance it during Black History Month, there is a wide variety of virtual, in-person and hybrid programs planned to reach audiences across Western New York and beyond. Programming includes youth workshops, musical performances, the continued speaker series, and the grand opening of the historic Cataract House Restaurant and Academy in downtown Niagara Falls.

More information is available on the Heritage Center’s website. Most of the events take place in the Atrium of the Heritage Center in Niagara Falls or are available virtually. Events are as follows:

  • “Frederick Douglass WNY: By Any Means Necessary,” 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, in the Atrium, 825 Depot Ave. West. The kickoff to Black History Month welcomes the Heritage Center’s own Dr. James Ponzo in “Frederick Douglas WNY: By Any Means Necessary,” a presentation on the life of Frederick Douglass, including the impact that he had on Rochester and all of Western New York. This is a hybrid event and pricing is $8 for singles, $12 for couples, and $25 for families.
  • African Drumming & Dancing Community Fitness Class with Packard Court Community Center, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, in the Atrium at 825 Depot Ave. West, Niagara This community celebration embraces the resilience and power that Black History Month embodies. Join us in a collaborative event with the Packard Court Community Center in an African Dance Class Jamboree featuring drums, music, laughs, and educational conversation. These two sessions are part of the free 10-Week African Drumming and dance Community fitness classes at the Packard Court Community Center to promote health and wellness, sponsored by the Niagara Falls Housing Authority and Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative. This is a free, hybrid event.
  • “Illuminating Voices of our Future,” StoryTime Animation with the Atlantis School for Gifted Youngsters, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb 5, in the Heritage Center’s Meeting Room, 825 Depot Avenue West. This in-person collaborative event allows eight youngsters ages 9 to 12 to be the storytellers of their own tales over the four Saturdays. These eight students will create, produce, and record voice overs for a StoryTime animation episode that features their own character. Saladin Allah, Visitor Experience Specialist, Community Liaison, and the Founder of the Atlantis School for Gifted Youngsters, will create animations of each child to bring their character to life! The cost is $40 and that covers all four weeks. The Heritage Center is hoping to fund scholarships for each child. Register here.
  • “Illuminating Voices of our Future,” Storytime Animation with the Atlantis School for Gifted Youngsters, Part 2, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb 12, in the Heritage Center’s Meeting Room; 825 Depot Avenue West, Niagara Falls.
  • “Black Visions” & “Alma Thomas & Me.” This collaboration with the Explore & More Children’s Museum will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb 12, in two locations: the Atrium at 825 Depot Avenue West, Niagara Falls; and at Explore & More Children’s Museum, 130 Main St., Buffalo. This informative and empowering event will allow kids ages 8 to 12 to learn about important Black figures from the past and present who are role models for children and young adults in an effort to inspire them to be everything they wish to be and Participants at Explore & More will be led by Heritage Center staff. They will be given a short informative lesson about important and influential Black figures past and present. They will then be guided through the creation of vision boards in an effort to empower today’s youth. Participants at the Heritage Center will be led by Explore & More staff. They will receive a short informative lesson on art, Black artists, and will be guided in a watercolor painting activity inspired by Alma Thomas. This is a free, in-person event, and capacity is 20 youth at the Heritage Center, but there are no capacity restrictions at Explore & More. Register here.
  • “Blacks in Niagara Falls” with Dr. Michael Boston in collaboration with the Niagara Falls Public Library, 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb 15, in the Atrium, 825 Depot Ave. West. Dr. Michael Boston, associate professor at SUNY Brockport, will present “Blacks in Niagara Falls,” detailed study of the history of African Americans in a small upstate New York city, from the days of the Underground Railroad to the deindustrialization of the 1980s. Blacks in Niagara Falls narrates and analyzes the history of Black Niagarans from the days of the Underground Railroad to the Age of Urban This is a hybrid event and prices are $8 for singles, $12 for couples, and $25 for families.
  • African Drumming & Dancing Community Fitness Class with Packard Court Community Center, Part 2, 6:30 to 7:30 m. Thursday, Feb. 17, in the Atrium at 825 Depot Ave. West, Niagara Falls. This is a free, hybrid event.
  • Cataract House Restaurant and Academy and Gallery Opening, 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb 18, at 310 Rainbow Blvd, Niagara Falls. The grand opening of the new F Bites Cataract House Restaurant and Academy is a free, in-person event celebrating the continuation of the legacy that is the Cataract House. The event also includes a micro gallery opening featuring Artist Tyshaun Tyson. Chef Bobby Anderson of Hell’s Kitchen and F-Bites is the Owner and Head Chef of this fine establishment with cuisine that reflects the historic African American meals once served. Tyshaun Tyson is one of the two artists to complete the “Black Lives Matter” mural on Main Street near the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage
  • “Illuminating Voices of our Future,” Storytime Animation with the Atlantis School for Gifted Youngsters, Part 3, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb 19, in the Heritage Center’s Meeting Room; 825 Depot Avenue West, Niagara Falls.
  • “Illuminating Voices of our Future,” Storytime Animation with the Atlantis School for Gifted Youngsters, Part 4, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb 26, in the Heritage Center’s Meeting Room; 825 Depot Avenue West, Niagara Falls.
  • “History in WNY’s Backyard in collaboration with Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor, 4 to 6:15 m. Saturday, Feb 26. This is the largest and most anticipated collaborative event of the month, and the first ever Buffalo and Niagara Falls Black History crossover tour. The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center and the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor will present this two- hour Black History virtual experience of the Heritage Center, the Nash House, Michigan Street Baptist Church, WUFO MIX1080AM, and the Colored Musicians Club. This is a virtual event and tickets are $20.

For more information or to register for these events, call (716) 300-8477 or visit the Heritage Center’s events page.

 

View media files here.

About the Heritage Center

The mission of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center is to reveal authentic stories of Underground Railroad freedom seekers and abolitionists in Niagara Falls and to inspire visitors to recognize modern injustices that stem from slavery and to take action toward an equitable society.

The Heritage Center is an experiential museum operating every Thursday through Sunday during the Winter season. We offer self-guided tours, facilitated guided tours, school field trips, and numerous public programs throughout the year. Through meaningful interpretive experiences, engaging public programs, services and events, we expand each visitor’s understanding of and appreciation for the Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls and the enduring impact of slavery in the United States.

 

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Cataract House historic marker unveiled

Cataract House historic marker unveiled

From the Niagara Gazette  August 5, 2021

Photograph by Paul Battson, Niagara Gazette

The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Commission and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation proudly unveiled a historic marker designating the former site of the Cataract House at a press conference on Thursday morning at the park area across from Red Coach Inn, 2 Buffalo Ave.

“This historic marker will now designate a location that was important not only to our local heritage, but our national history as well,” said Saladin Allah, visitor experience specialist and community liaison at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, operated by the commission. “Outside of our community, people may not know much about Niagara Falls beyond the Falls themselves. This marker will help others realize the vital role our region played in the Underground Railroad and the rich history of Niagara Falls’ Black community. We hope that our representation of this site will help us continue to learn from the past so we can work toward a more just, equitable future.”

The importance of the Cataract House as the center of Underground Railroad activism in Niagara Falls cannot be overestimated. The African American waiters who worked as Underground Railroad agents made this site one of the most important Underground Railroad nodes in the entire nation. Famous cases included a failed rescue attempt in 1847 and the successful escapes of Cecilia Jane Reynolds (1847), a woman named Martha (1853), and waiter Patrick Sneed (1853). John Morrison, head waiter at the Cataract House, often ferried people across the river himself.

The Cataract House burned down in 1945 and was demolished in 1946. The historic marker for the former location of the hotel has been funded by a grant from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation.

Congressman Brian Higgins agreed that the marker represents an important aspect of the history of our city and country.

“The Cataract House was a pivotal station along the Underground Railroad and its story is told beautifully and poignantly through the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center,” he said. “This Historic Marker further shares the story of the powerful network of ‘conductors’ here in Niagara Falls who bravely helped people escape slavery along the road to freedom.”

The event was attended by several community leaders and local political officials, including Mayor Robert Restaino.

“The Cataract House is an important part of the history of our City,” Mayor Restaino said. “It continues to show the significant impact of Niagara Falls in our national story. We appreciate the work of the commission and (New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation) in designating this historic marker for the Cataract House.”

Following the unveiling, visitors were invited to walk in the footsteps of freedom seekers from the hotel site to the brink of the Niagara River.

Virtual Black History Month Events by the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center

Virtual Black History Month Events by the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2021
Contact: Shannon Polvino
(716) 597-5188
shannon@thinkinsight.co

Virtual Black History Month Events by the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center

(Niagara Falls, NY) – The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center is celebrating Black History Month through a series of virtual events this February. Each Friday at 7pm this month, the public can join captivating discussions relating to Black history from the comfort of their home.

Interim Director of Education for the Heritage Center, Christine Bacon looks forward to engaging the public through these meaningful discussions.

“Participating in the Center’s Black History Month programming is a great way for the community to come together to discuss and recognize that Black history is American history,” Bacon said. “We are excited to bring the community virtual events for Black History Month that will address the continual movement for civil rights from the Underground Railroad to present-day college campuses.”

The Center is also co-hosting an online event with the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site (TR Site) and the Buffalo Presidential Center to celebrate Black History Month and Presidents’ Day on February 23 at 6pm. The event is part of the TR Site’s 2021 Speaker Nite Series, where author Margaret Kimberley will discuss her book, Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents. Click here for more information.

Black History Month Schedule

Campus Organizing: Discussion Panel
Friday, February 12 at 7pm
Matt McKenzie, Niagara University ’21, leads an inspiring discussion with other student activists.

“Redeeming Uncle Tom” Screening & Discussion
Friday, February 19 at 7pm
Watch the documentary “Redeeming Uncle Tom: The Josiah Henson Story.” Then join Visitor Experience Specialist, and Henson descendant, Saladin Allah for a powerful discussion on legacy and memory.

“Prejudential: Black America & the Presidents” Presented by Margaret Kimberley
Tuesday, February 23 from 6pm – 7:30pm
This Speaker Nite series event will examine issues that were important during Theodore Roosevelt’s lifetime and continue to be relevant today.
Co-hosted by the TR Site and the Buffalo Presidential Center 

James Baldwin’s “Talk To Teachers”
Friday, February 26 at 7pm
James Ponzo, professor of African American Studies at the University at Buffalo, leads a book discussion featuring James Baldwin’s “Talk to Teachers.” Attendees are not required to read the book beforehand.

The Center’s Virtual programming for Black History Month is $5 for non-members, and free for members. Those interested can register online at niagarafallsundergroundrailroad.org/about/events/.

About the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center
The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center opened in May 2018 after 11 years of planning. The center is located inside the former 1863 U.S. Custom House attached to the Niagara Falls Amtrak station. The center sits adjacent to the location of the former International Suspension Bridge, a point of crossing for many freedom seekers including Harriet Tubman.

The Heritage Center preserves the historic role of the people of Niagara Falls in facilitating freedom for the oppressed. The places and stories associated with this network of freedom seekers, free African Americans and abolitionists, evoke powerful themes in American history and celebrate the bravery of the men and women who risked their lives to achieve the most basic rights of liberty. Learn more at niagarafallsundergroundrailroad.org.

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Mayor Robert Restaino Dedicates Historic Marker at Niagara Falls Customhouse

Mayor Robert Restaino Dedicates Historic Marker at Niagara Falls Customhouse

For Immediate Release
Mayor Robert Restaino Dedicates Historic Marker at Niagara Falls Customhouse

 

(Niagara Falls, NY, November 14, 2020) Today, Mayor Robert Restaino announced the official commemoration of the Niagara Falls Customhouse with the addition of their new historic marker. The Mayor held a small press event to commemorate and celebrate the history of the Niagara Falls Customhouse.

The Customhouse was restored by the City of Niagara Falls in 2011. The building was integrated into the Niagara Falls International Railway Station in 2016. The initiative to save and restore this building was taken when it was listed on New York State’s “Seven-to Save” list that outlines the State’s most endangered historic structures.

“The United States Customhouse at Niagara Falls played a prominent role in the exchange of goods across the international border with Canada for nearly 100 years as the primary customs location in the Niagara region,” said City of Niagara Falls Mayor, Robert Restaino. “The current integration of the Niagara Falls Customhouse with the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center is a further expression of the importance of this location in history. This historic marker will make public the incredible impact of this building and location have had in the advancement of commerce and, most especially, in the fight for freedom.”

“Identifying the U.S. Customhouse with a historic marker is a further testament to the tremendous history that occurred here in Niagara Falls,” said Sara Beilein Capen, Executive Director of Niagara Falls National Heritage Area. “It was at this location that dozens of people who escaped slavery in the American south crossed into freedom, many under the steadfast and unwavering guidance of Harriet Tubman.” Interim Director of the Niagara Falls Heritage Area, Ally Spongr, went on to say that, “At the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, we recognize the significance of a place when sharing history with the public. Our visitors have the opportunity to stand inside and outside of the U.S. Customs House, where the Heritage Center is located, to see, and feel, where countless freedom seekers took their last steps before crossing the Suspension Bridge to freedom in Canada.”

“Niagara Frontier Chapter NRHS, Inc. has a proud tradition of Historic Preservation and Interpretation dating back nearly 80 years,” said Jim Ball, President of the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the National Railways Historical Society. “Our activities include public programs, historic research, publications, rail excursions, an extensive library and archives, a Museum, and our newsletter. The establishment of Historic Markers is an example of our Mission Statement in action.”

In addition to the building’s history as the last stop on a long journey to freedom, Anton Schwarzmueller, Project Coordinator for the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the National Railways Historical Society, provided another take on the historical significance of the building. “Why does this building matter? What was happening in our country in 1863 when this Customs House was constructed? Abraham Lincoln was president. The Civil War was raging. It was the year the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. Why did the government invest time and money on this building at that time? Because wars are expensive. A crucial source of revenue for the government was from the collection of duty. The tariff had been a divisive issue at the cusp of the succession; the northern states wanted a higher tariff to better protect their industries. The tariff was raised higher as the war began. This Custom House represents the resolve of the Union to enforce the tariff, collect revenue, and fund the war.”

Schwarzmueller explained how he worked closely with the City of Niagara Falls and the William G. Pomeroy Foundation to secure a grant to provide the historic marker for the Customhouse Building. The Pomeroy Foundation is a private grant-making foundation that was established in 2005. The Foundation is committed to supporting the celebration and preservation of community history.

“The United States Custom House has stood as part of the rich history of the City of Niagara Falls for more than 150 years,” says Paula Miller, executive director of the William G. Pomeroy Foundation. “The Pomeroy Foundation is delighted to have awarded a grant to help commemorate the building’s inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places with this new roadside marker. We congratulate the Niagara Frontier Chapter NRHS, Inc. and the Niagara Falls community for their efforts to recognize and preserve this historic property.”

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The AT&T Virtual Field Trips Program Launches for the School Year

The AT&T Virtual Field Trips Program Launches for the School Year

The AT&T Virtual Field Trips Program Launches for the School Year

A collaboration between AT&T, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo Museum of Science, Explore & More, The Buffalo History Museum and the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center to offer free virtual field trips for local public and charter school students

BUFFALO, N.Y., Nov. 10, 2020 – School field trips bring excitement and the spirit of adventure to children of all ages. They complement classroom learning and instruction with wonderful experiences where students can see, touch and hear about subjects presented in school. Field trips provide memories that last a lifetime for students. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, traditional field trip visits to the world-class educational, art and cultural institutions in Western New York will not be possible during the 2020-2021 school year. To help alleviate the disappointment of local students and to add some normalcy to their unusual school year, AT&T, in collaboration with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo Museum of Science, Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum, The Buffalo History Museum and the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center have created the AT&T Virtual Field Trips program. This program will allow tens of thousands of students to experience free virtual field trips throughout Buffalo and Niagara Falls in a memorable, fun and safe way.   

The AT&T Virtual Field Trips program provides both prerecorded videos and live virtual leader-led tours. Some of the programs offer downloadable materials for teachers and interactive kits for students. The program is designed to provide a wide array of offerings tailored for students of different ages, ranging from 1st through 12th grades.  To help eliminate economic barriers and to foster inclusion, this unique program is provided free of charge for all students and classes that attend Buffalo or Niagara Falls public or charter schools and Western New York Title 1 schools. This program is made possible by a $75,000 contribution from AT&T and the generosity of the partnering cultural and educational institutions.

The Buffalo History Museum offers tours recommended for students in 4th through 6th grades. Each virtual field trip includes a live Zoom tour of two current exhibits with a member of the Museum’s education team. Tours must be booked in advance. The Buffalo History Museum has been Western New York’s premier historical organization since 1862. The history of Western New York is filled with stories of diverse people striving to create a place that they can call home. Stories brewing with ingenuity and hope, but fraught with struggle and conflict. The virtual tour will bring the past to life in a personal way-through intimate narratives of everyday people and key historical figures and provide participants opportunities to engage with real artifacts and primary sources, while connecting with subject matter experts to access unique resources of the museum. 

Great art is transformational. The Albright-Knox invites teachers and students to join us for virtual experiences designed to support the development of the critical and creative thinkers of tomorrow. Opportunities include live virtual guided tours and pre-recorded videos that will serve as a teaching resource to focus on critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. Students will discover works of art from the Albright-Knox’s collection and exhibitions through a range of learning strategies, including open-ended and guided questions, conversation, and activities. 

The authentic stories shared at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center highlight the extraordinary results that are achieved when ordinary people stand against oppression. On a live virtual field trip, museum educators will connect with classrooms remotely in real time. During a facilitated, interactive program, students will learn the history of the Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls while engaging in dialogue that will help them recognize the modern injustices that stem from slavery and think critically about what steps they can take to create a more equitable, just, and free society.

The Buffalo Museum of Science is ready to bring the wonder and excitement of the Museum to virtual classrooms! The Museum’s experienced facilitators will bring a unique educational experience and scientific expertise to students and educators. Whether participants are looking for an eye-popping science demonstration or a Behind-the-Scenes virtual tour, students and teachers can customize programming to suit specific needs and grade level. If school district guidance allows, kits can also be assembled and delivered to schools to give students immersive, hands-on experiences. 

Children of all ages learn through exploration and grow through creativity. In this spirit, Explore & More invites young learners — the innovators of tomorrow — to “Explore, and More!” Explore & More has created seven (7) interactive videos that can be used together or individually by teachers. Each video includes a tour of one of the Educational Play Zones; a related activity and/or experiment that can easily be replicated by parents at home or teachers in school; and concludes by highlighting a STEM career.  These tours are ideal for 3rd – 5th graders. 

“Field trips are such an important component of every student’s education, providing enriching exposure to our world-class cultural institutions. While in-person class visits are not possible during the pandemic, virtual field trips are a terrific way to open the doors to our many museums and other cultural assets,” Mayor Byron W. Brown said. “Thank you to the cultural institutions which have embraced this creative way to offer field trips, and also to AT&T for once again stepping up as a community partner to make this new initiative possible.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily changed the way our children learn, but time and again our educators and our business leaders have stepped up to ensure that our students have access to new and innovative resources throughout remote learning,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “As AT&T and Buffalo’s cultural institutions launch these interactive field trips, we’re seeing yet another example of these strong, creative partnerships encouraging them to continue to explore their city, albeit through a different lens.”

“Western New York has an extraordinarily rich history and legacy of achievement. Communicating the importance of that history and culture is more important than ever now that we remain distant from each other due to the public health risk posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Congressman Brian Higgins said. “This collaboration will allow some of our community’s most important cultural institutions to continue to connect with our young people to enrich our community’s knowledge and learning amid significant barriers to in-person visits.”

For more information on the AT&T Virtual Field Trips program and the various virtual educational tours and instructions on how to book a virtual leader-tour or to access the videos and virtual assets newly produced by the participating institutions, please visit https://exploreandmore.org/att-virtual-field-trips/.  All other schools and districts across Western New York interested in participating in the video tours are welcome to use the program for their students.

“As thousands of  local students are either following a distance learning or hybrid model as a result of Covid-19, we are proud to help provide this opportunity and  support educators who are keeping our students connected and to help ensure students aren’t deprived of the educational experience field trips to museums provide,” said Amy Kramer, New York President AT&T. “We are thrilled  to collaborate with these remarkable educational cultural institutions that are not just pillars of this community, but have also been enriching our children’s educations for generations, and AT&T is happy keep the spirt of these field trips alive for this year and provide students of all ages some sort of normalcy.”

AT&T’s support for this program is part of the Company’s legacy of supporting educational programs focused on STEM disciplines in New York and nationally through AT&T Aspire, the Company’s signature $600 million philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue of education, including funding, technology, programing, employee volunteerism and mentoring. Aspire is one of the nation’s largest corporate commitments focused on school success and workforce readiness by creating new learning environments and educational delivery systems to help students succeed and prepare them to take on 21st century careers. The program also aligns with the Company’s AT&T Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund, a $10 million COVID-19 relief program launched to give parents, caregivers and teachers tools they need to educate students remotely.

“The Albright-Knox is delighted to be a part of this important program that brings new and thought-provoking learning experiences to students throughout Western New York,” said Albright-Knox Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director Janne Sirén.  “We believe that interactions with art can be transformational for young minds and we are thrilled to be able to share our wonderful collection in this innovative way.”

“The Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center is thrilled to participate in the AT&T Virtual Field Trips program,” said Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center Interim Director of Education, Christine Bacon. “This is an amazing opportunity for students to be inspired by ordinary people who took extraordinary steps to overcome great obstacles. Now more than ever, we need stories like this to uplift us.” 

“We are so honored to participate in this virtual field trip program,” said Melissa Brown, Executive Director, The Buffalo History Museum. “In providing these students the opportunity to learn about our region’s past, we hope that not only will they receive educational value, but find personal and meaningful connections to the people that came before them.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for elevated science literacy as well as continued access to STEM resources in schools,” says Marisa Wigglesworth, President and CEO, Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences. “The Buffalo Museum of Science is excited to continue engaging students in Buffalo and Niagara Falls through virtual tours and experiments that will inspire and encourage the STEM leaders of tomorrow. We are grateful to AT&T for making this wonderful program possible.”  

“Through the AT&T Virtual Field Trip program we are able to keep the play alive.  Our virtual field trips focus on STEM, an ever growing and critical field for children to embrace,” states Michelle Urbanczyk, Chief Executive Officer of Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum.  “In doing STEM based activities and exposing children to experts like astronomists and veterinarians, we are hoping to show how exciting and fun a career in STEM can be.”

“Thank you to AT&T and our local historical, educational, and arts institutions for giving our students access to this extraordinary Virtual Field Trips program,” said Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash. “The excitement and enrichment this program will bring to our students will spark their interests for a lifetime, and the virtual experience will help to fill the gap while essential in-person field trips are paused.” 

“At this time, more than ever, our students need to experience the rich heritage and culture Western New York offers,” said Mark Laurrie, Superintendent, Niagara Falls CSD. “The ability to build a child’s background knowledge through a creative and interactive way is meeting the needs of young people in a cutting edge manner. The support of AT&T is a gift that will last long in the schema of the children of Niagara Falls.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Benjamin Roberts, AT&T Public Affairs

716.262.5883 / ben.roberts@att.com