Home Waters: A Gardiner School and museum partnership

Enterprise Staff
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
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Gardiner students are pictured on a Cultural Perspectives on the Land field trip in 2015, during a previous museum-school partnership project with Gardiner School. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone Gateway Museum

The Library of Congress and the Museums Association of Montana recently awarded a $750 grant to Gardiner School in partnership with the Yellowstone Gateway Museum.

This is making it possible for the museum and school to be one of 12 teams across Montana to participate in Home Waters: Primary Sources and the Places of Montana, a museum news release said.

In the project, the museum staff and public-school teacher partnerships use primary sources, literature and place, in the classroom and museum settings. Participants will gain knowledge about the place where they are living, and how it fits into the larger perspective of Montana. The project’s goals include strengthening community learning partners and providing a place-based educational program that can be integrated into classrooms in Montana and across the nation.

Junior and senior high school students at Gardiner High School, led by English teacher Hali Kirby, will connect the new book, “Home Waters,” by John Maclean and a well-known familial companion, “A River Runs through It,” by Norman Maclean, with primary sources from the museum’s collec tions with the help of Curator Karen Reinhart. Students will analyze these sources to help them gain a deeper understanding of the books when reading them, the release said.

Reinhart will also help train students in the art of oral history interviews. They will interview local people who rely in various ways on the Yellowstone River. Students will also create a website, making interview transcriptions widely available. A link will be placed on the museum’s web site.

Other grant-sponsored activities include memoir writing classes for members of the Gardiner community. Local river experts will also be sought to engage students in experiential learning opportunities. If you are interested, call Reinhart at (406) 222-4184.

The Library of Congress will train teachers and museum staff participants how to search the deeper collections of the Library of Congress — and other archives — and how these resources can expand an understanding of places that appear in literature and history, providing connections to state and national standards in multiple disciplines.

For more information, contact Karen Reinhart at (406) 222-4184 or email kreinhart@parkcounty.org.