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20 MAKING MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS WITH ART Throughout the year SCMA welcomes groups of all ages to the museum for interactive guided tours of our per- manent collection and changing exhibition galleries. These conversation-driven learning experiences serve two important functions they provide valuable teach- ing practice for our Student Museum Educators SMEs and engage young visitors from the community with SCMAs own collection and the signicance of museums in general. The K12 school visit program embraces an inquiry-based philosophy incorporating facilitation strategies that focus less on the content itself and more on how we construct meaning and interpret works of art. SMEs employ a va- riety of methods to engage students including observa- tional drawing gallery games movement and written text in addition to dynamic questioning tactics like Visual Thinking Strategies. Each tour is customized to meet the needs of each school group and aligned to State content and Common Core Standards. Teachers are asked to share their learning objectives and potential curriculum connections and to- gether we make sure the visit is as relevant educational and enjoyable as possible. Professional development is offered to schools and districts inviting educators to learn more about the important role of art in educa- tion and SCMA as a local resource for their teaching. The ongoing partnership with the neighboring Smith College Campus School continues to be strong with regular class visits throughout the school year. SCMA also served as the site for a new elective course as part of the schools June Program. This month-long course provided plenty of time to look and talk about art in the galleries as well as sustained art-making opportunities. As part of SCMAs efforts to increase accessibility to and appreciation for the museum and its many offerings we were pleased to host the rst parent program in coop- eration with the Fort Hill Early Childhood Education Cen- ter. More than 50 children and their grown-ups gathered for a playful learning experience led by two professional museum educators and moms SCMAs Gina Hall and Fort Hill parent Elizabeth Molina. The goal was to provide an introduction to the museum and to demystify it through hands-on minds-on activities such as movement games and read-alouds. Welcoming Empowering Our Youngest Audiences