The Board of Trustees and staff of the Museum of South Texas History are pleased to be the recipient of a grant from the BBVA Compass Foundation. MOSTHistory was recently awarded $5,000 toward its “Docents: Enhancing the Museum Experience Program.”
Over 10,000 school children and teachers visit MOSTHistory annually for a docent-guided tour of the museum. With large numbers of students coming at one time, it is essential to have docents who are trained and experienced in the logistics of handling large groups in a timely manner while engaging them in a meaningful experience. Docents are trained to use their knowledge of regional history relating to the exhibits and to utilize well-practiced teaching techniques to customize tours according to the size, age and/or energy level of the group.
The docent corps has traditionally been made up of retirees and college students, along with high school students on a preceptorship program from the South Texas ISD Business, Education and Technology Academy. While the high school students are volunteers who are earning academic credit, the retirees and other students are employed on a part-time basis. Thanks, in part, to this grant award from BBVA Compass Foundation, the museum is able to continue the docent program. The program has reduced the docent turnover rate and increased dependability and availability of docents for scheduled tours. Overall, this program has developed a seasoned group of docents to deliver a high quality education experience. Additionally, because the BETA students change every semester, these seasoned docents play a crucial role by helping to train the high school students and serve as mentors to them. It is a wonderful, intergenerational experience, and one that works. This program is under the direction of Maria Rodriguez, the education officer. To learn more about how your school or classroom can schedule a tour please call the museum at 956/383-6911 and visit mosthistory.org.
About Museum of South Texas History
The Museum of South Texas History is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is located in downtown Edinburg at 200 N. Closner Blvd. on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square. Hours of operation are from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday. Founded in 1967 as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in the 1910 Hidalgo County Jail, the museum has grown over the decades through a series of expansions to occupy a full city block. In 2003 following the completion of a 22,500 square foot expansion, the museum was renamed the Museum of South Texas History to better reflect its regional scope. Today, the museum preserves and presents the borderland heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico through its permanent collection and the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives and exhibits spanning prehistory through the 20th century. For more information about MOSTHistory, including becoming a FRIEND, visit MOSTHistory.org, like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, find on Google+ or call +1-956-383-6911.