Not Your Usual Stop-And-Stare or Free-Day Field Trip!
The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center is a relatively new facility built in 1997 and expanded in 2003, ’05 and ’07. Our mission is to celebrate and perpetuate the history, art and culture of the Chisholm Trail, the American Cowboy and the American West. In this capacity, we host educational classes at our facility. The target grades are 3rd, 4th and 5th, though we host younger students, older students and adults. Our museum and education programs are the only ones of their kind in southern Oklahoma. We have a program for 2nd graders offered year-round.
The Center has five sessions: Abernathy Boys (fall), Holidays on the Trail (winter), NEW: History Heroes: Famous Figures from the Chisholm Trail Region, emphasis on Oklahoma (winter), Oklahoma Land Giveaways and NEW-Chisholm Trail history (spring) and our summer program which rotates annually. Within each of these sessions, various modules are chosen. Students learn to read, write, demonstrate mathematics and business knowledge, use their imaginations, enhance their music and art appreciation and develop and articulate concepts under the auspices of history and social studies. STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math are at the heart of all sessions for all ages.
We are different than other museums. This dramatic increase in attendance each year is due to many factors including the following:
- We are the only nonprofit in Oklahoma that is Great Expectation Model School Certified. www.greatexpectationsok.com. This rigorous certification program mandates training, mentorships, and educators interacting with children by asking questions that require deep thought and higher reasoning.
- We are the only facility in this region that focuses on academic standards set forth by the Oklahoma and Texas Departments of Education. Our educators work with the child’s classroom or home school teacher to insure a productive day at a meaningful point in their day to day learning.
- We rotate four umbrella curricula so students can attend multiple years or multiple times in the same school year without repeating a learning module.
Public, private and homeschool teachers are encouraged to book their dates early, as popular sessions often fill at the beginning of the year. Title I schools can apply to attend the Center for free. There are also limited funds for travel reimbursements. These funds also go quickly, so apply early.
The Center can accommodate most special needs students. Our facility is handicapped accessible. Since most of our exhibits have components that stimulate not only sight, but hearing, touch, and smell, students with sensory issues can have a similar experience to other students. Our professional educators can also work with you to provide a custom program. An example might be our using animal pelts to teach the story of the Trail to visually impaired students. We also have included a sign language interpreter for some of our groups. The CTHC also has educators and guides available in different languages with prior notice.
This program is funded by grants and private donations. It cannot happen without your support. The facility is truly a partnership between board members, staff, school districts, Center members, fellow museums, private foundations, local/regional civic organizations, Tribal, State and local governments and business.