In a tent on the Coe Quad on the Bowdoin College campus, around 20 children and their parents sat together on July 30, listening to a reading of Kevin O’Malley’s picture book “Straight to the Pole.”

An Arctic-themed book-reading session and related craft project for children and programming for teens and adults are being organized by Bowdoin’s Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum as a part of “Summer in the Arctic 2021″ program.

James Tanzer, the outreach coordinator at the museum, said he loves spending time with the kids and engaging them in the museum’s program.

“Considering the museum is closed throughout the summer, we have been trying to think of different ways to bring the museum outside to people, and this was the best solution that we came up with,” said Tanzer. “The program is used as an outreach to the community we haven’t seen in more than a year. We have missed them and wanted to share our museum.”

Each session is built around a theme, including polar bears, snow and ice, kayaks, Arctic exploration, Inuit games and Inuit art.

A kid making his own Inuit snow googles using craft paper at the event. Payal Gangishetti

“My kids love to attend the book reading sessions here. They get to listen to a story, see artifacts and do something physically. It’s very hands-on and a great way to keep kids learning during the summer,” said Kira Reed, who attended the event with her two kids.

Charles Elizebeth Lyman, a Harpswell resident, brought his two grandchildren, who came to visit him from London for the summer break. He said the program is an excellent opportunity for the kids to socialize.

“These events are important because you are reminded of the resources that Bowdoin has for the community. I wanted to show my two grandchildren around,” said Lyman. “My wife and I like to visit museums. The art museum and the library has a huge positive effect on this area. I hope the museum will reopen soon, and I would like to bring my 14 grandchildren here.”

About 50 people attended the most recent story time, said Tanzer.

“Some families come every week. I am getting to know kids and their parents by name. I see both kids and adults interact with each other and make new friends. It’s like a great family event.”

Meanwhile, the officials are planning to reopen the museum this fall.

“We will open the museum to the public likely in September, but it will be through appointments. We will send out more information on it in the coming days,” said Susan A. Kaplan, the director of the museum.

The program, scheduled on Tuesdays and Fridays, is free and open to the public. For more information, visit bowdoin.edu/arctic-museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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