Monticello Kicks Off the Year with Programs for Local Public School Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 9, 2014
Media Contact: Amy Atticks, 434-984-7529

MONTICELLO, Charlottesville, VA As Thomas Jefferson explained to George Wythe, “...the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised, for the preservation of freedom and happiness..."

Student art on display in the Smith Education Center at MonticelloThis January, inspired by Jefferson’s legacy, and in service to our two-fold mission of preservation and education, Monticello is pleased to kick off the year with educational programming for Virginia public school students through the My Monticello exhibition, and the Daily Life at Monticello Program for the Richmond City Public Schools.

At 1pm on Saturday, January 11, 2014, join teachers, students and their families at the free, public opening celebration for My Monticello: An Exhibition of Student Art in the Carl and Hunter Smith Education Center at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center. My Monticello includes artwork from over 300 3rd-grade students from Charlottesville City Public Schools who visited Monticello to learn about Thomas Jefferson’s love of gadgets and design. My Monticello, now in its ninth year, is supported in part by the Wells Fargo Foundation and the Hunter Smith Family Foundation. Monticello invites the community to join us for the opening celebration, light refreshments will be served. For those who cannot make the opening, the exhibit will also be on view from 10am to 3pm January 11, 12, 18, 19, 20, 25 and 26.

From January through mid-February 2014, Monticello will host the Daily Life at Monticello Program for the Richmond City Public Schools. This annual program brings 1,800 4th graders from all 28 Richmond City Public Schools to Monticello for a free 4-hour lesson to explore the lives and experiences of Thomas Jefferson, his family, and Monticello’s free and enslaved plantation community through objects which illustrate their stories.

As a participating 4th grade teacher from Westover Hills Elementary explained, “Today brought our curriculum to life; made an historical figure real beyond internet capabilities.”  Support over the years for the Daily Life at Monticello Program for the Richmond City Public Schools has come from Dr. and Mrs. Steven E. Epstein, the Hunter Smith Family Foundation, Virginia H. Spratley Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia, Verizon Foundation, Windsor Foundation Trust, and Altria Group, Inc.

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Thomas Jefferson Foundation was incorporated in 1923 to preserve Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today the Foundation seeks to engage a global audience in a dialogue with Jefferson’s ideas. Monticello is now recognized as a National Historic Landmark and a United Nations World Heritage Site. As a private, nonprofit organization, the Foundation is not supported by federal or state budgets to fund its twofold mission of preservation and education. About 450,000 people visit Monticello each year. For information, visit www.monticello.org.

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