By Mary Beth Bassett is the public relations coordinator for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.
During this time of stay-at-home mandates, parents of schoolchildren find themselves having to get creative when it comes to educational endeavors.
Here are several online resources from Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau partners that will help transport your learner to Galveston Island — home to a historic immigration port, exotic creatures, Victorian architecture, maritime industry, and more.
• The Galveston Historical Foundation offers numerous online learning and virtual experience-sharing opportunities. These include Facebook Live lectures, special Instagram takeovers by GHF staff, and Galveston Island residents showcasing their favorite historic sites in Galveston. They also offer a History Homeschool project, which allows deep dives into the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa and opportunities to study marine biology and math with a historic twist. For details, visit www.galvestonhistory.org.
• The Bryan Museum in Galveston is home to one of the world’s largest collections of art and artifacts relating to the history of the Southwest. Housed in what was once the Galveston Orphans Home, the museum features important documents, weaponry, spurs, saddles, paintings, sculptures and more.
The entire museum can now be toured virtually, and there are resource pages to supplement the visits: www.thebryanmuseum.org.
Along with its truly Texas virtual experience, The Bryan Museum is also providing daily lesson plans for at-home learning called the Historians Journal. Families can follow along daily or download the full curriculum at thebryanmuseum.org/online-resources.
• The pyramids at Moody Gardens are teeming with life and learning. Visit the rainforests of Africa, Asia, and South America at the Rainforest Pyramid and learn about the animal and plant life that live there at bit.ly/39qbhkP. Curriculum guides to support lessons here are offered at www.moodygardens.com/education.
During the stay-at-home mandate period, the nonprofit educational attraction is also committed to posting educational items on its Facebook page twice each day at www.facebook.com/moodygardens.
• The Moody family was, and remains, prominent members of the Galveston community. The Moody Mansion offers a glimpse of what life was like on the island before and just after The 1900 Storm. To learn more about this grand structure and the people who once lived there, visit moodymansion.org and click “View Our Orientation Video.” A virtual tour of the mansion is expected to launch in April.
• Many other local businesses have online learning opportunities for people of all ages in a wealth of subject matter. The CVB has developed a resource list for many of them — from storytimes at the Rosenberg Library to educational programs for children through The University of Texas Medical Branch. The list can be found at www.galvestonparkboard.org/277/Education-Resources.
Park Board meetings are typically held at 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 601 23rd Street.