On Monday, August 19, pirates stormed the decks of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. But unlike their treasure-searching counterparts, these buccaneers advanced with a different (and more educational) objective in mind: to celebrate the words and ideas of young people.
Founded in 2003, the Story Pirates is a nationally-recognized education and media organization that aims to promote learning through its interactive programming. On Monday, the group engaged approximately 200 children from 12 City shelters, helping the youngsters formulate a story before acting it out on-stage. The kids− who ranged in age between 6 and 12− giggled excitedly as they watched their creative and imaginative tale (about a red and pink bumblebee who liked bubblegum) come to life.
Taking place in the auditorium of the world-famous aircraft carrier, the performance was just one component of the day-long event, which was sponsored and hosted by the Intrepid. Since forging a partnership with the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) in 2003, the floating museum has welcomed thousands of shelter clients into its halls, always proving to be a memorable occasion. The ongoing collaboration is coordinated by DHS’ Office of Communications & External Affairs.
Following the show, the children enjoyed lunch and embarked on tours of the Intrepid, which was originally commissioned in 1943 to serve during World War II. It went on to act as one of the primary recovery vessels for NASA, complete three tours of duty during Vietnam and conduct submarine surveillance in the North Atlantic during the Cold War.
For these children, who were all born after the turn of the 21st Century, exploring the vessel’s exhibits and displays offered an up-close-and-personal history lesson, and a glimpse into a window (or in this case, porthole) of days gone by.
The visit also marked the first time that DHS families could step into the newly-reopened Space Shuttle Pavilion. Receiving private tours of the area, the kids stood amazed in the shadow of Space Shuttle Enterprise− the prototype NASA orbiter that now calls the museum home.
DHS Commissioner Michele Ovesey was on-hand for the event, joining the Intrepid’s President, Susan Marenoff-Zausner, Vice President for Education, Dr. Nicole Vartanian, and Assistant Vice President for Education, Sheri Levinsky.
During her remarks, Commissioner Ovesey spoke to the children about their future goals and was thrilled to discover that some wished to be lawyers (like her), while others looked toward the professions of “astronaut” and “sailor.”
“We can’t say enough about the Intrepid and what its partnership has meant to our agency,” said DHS’ Director of Special Events, Antonio Rodriguez. “Events such as this one inspire children to learn, spark their interest in history and, most importantly, spread the belief that education really is fun.”
To learn more about the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, visit: http://intrepidmuseum.org.
To learn more about the Story Pirates, visit: http://storypirates.org