Center for the Study of Art, Architecture, History and Nature
Dennis Galucki, Founder
Chuck LaChiusa, Webmaster

2010-2020 Vision & Goals - Eight Ideas

6. Design Initiatives like "Classrooms + Culturals + Family Members =  Lifelong Learning (CL+CU+FM=LL)"

Our community and region invest a great deal of money into education, K-12 and beyond, as well as our cultural institutions. The school experience by all accounts is enhanced when classrooms visit our cultural institutions especially when parents or family members become chaperones. These institutions include the Albright-Knox, Darwin Martin House, Burchfield-Penney, Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo and Erie County Zoo, Museum of Science, Botanical Gardens and Historical Society - to name a few.

The goal of this Idea is to try to get every classroom in our region into at least one cultural institution at least once a year with as many family members as possible. By initially focusing on Buffalo Public Schools, it is hoped that our retention and graduation rates for BPS students and increased enrollment in local colleges will occur by 2020, to help lift Buffalo out of it's persistent ranking as one of "America's Poorest Cities."  

The more that classes of students experience our cultural establishments with family members, the more we will build our future base of support for the cultural institutions and improve the educational experience for all today.

The Buffalo News - January 9, 2012 "Lifelong learning should be our goal"

The recent News articles and editorials focusing on education, primarily issues around Buffalo Public Schools, were most informative and prompt this idea. What if the Buffalo Niagara community began a serious effort to see lifelong learning as its objective, not just education at the K-12 level?

Lifelong learning invites everyone to the table—children and adults. It also includes all of the stakeholders included in the six News editorials and many more. For instance, the recent National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference should leave no doubt that our region is blessed with a legacy of cultural gems. Picture each one as a stakeholder and lifelong learning “treasure island.”

Our libraries, the Darwin Martin House Complex, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo Tours, Buffalo Zoo, Botanical Gardens, Science Museum, Niagara Power Museum, Historical Society, Naval Park, Erie Canal, Forest Lawn, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, Kleinhans, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Roycroft Campus, Hull House, Fort Niagara, college and university galleries, just to name a few, should have yellow school buses constantly in motion. Schools can creatively engage the community and private sector to help fund each tour.

Consider, the Albright-Knox played host to 17,000 students last year through one grant from the private sector. As a gallery docent, specializing in creating adventurous school tours using New York State standards, I believe lives can be changed by these “treasure island” cultural resources.

However, a lifelong learning experience can happen if children have a family member as a chaperon. I have noticed this often happens with private and home school tours, but seldom occurs with public school tours. As a community, we can both encourage and creatively fund this idea for all of our advantage. By doing so, we will also enhance the membership base for our various cultural organizations.

Raising the high school graduation rate a few percentage points is an important goal, but engaging the entire community to become a unique, lifelong learning community because of the rich legacy we have inherited seems a far more worthy goal for Buffalo Niagara.

Dennis Galucki

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