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Recently, Service Credit Union renewed their longstanding partnership with the American Independence Museum with an investment of $5,000 to support its Traveling Trunk program, which delivers an experiential learning opportunity into the classroom. As a result of Service Credit Union’s support, school districts throughout New Hampshire will have access to the program at no cost for the remainder of the 17/18 school year.

Museum Executive Director Emma Bray referred to Service Credit Union’s support as “a huge boost.”

“This is an incredible opportunity for us to extend learning outside our museum walls and engage students in the subject of history,” she said. “We are so thankful for Service Credit Union’s partnership.”

In electing to sponsor the Traveling Trunk program, David Van Rossum, President/CEO of Service Credit Union, said he believes in the larger vision of the museum, which is to encourage civic engagement in all citizens.

“This is an important program that will get students thinking about American history, the factors that led to the Revolutionary War, why it happened,” he said. “The biggest thing is that it will encourage discussion among students and a deeper understanding of what our freedoms mean today.”

As for the educational rationale behind the program, Bray said it reflects the 4 ‘Cs’ of 21st century learning, which are collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity.

“These are the skills that are required in today’s world—and the subject of history can help develop them in today’s students,” she said

In the trunk, students will be able to access more than 70 high-quality replica items, while teachers will be guided by a curriculum designed by the museum.

“The objective behind the program is to encourage research, judgments on the accuracy and reliability of sources, and a deeper awareness of multiple perspectives,” added Bray. “History is a lot more than memorizing dates.”

In addition to educating 5th through 8th grade students—although the curriculum can be modified to suit younger persons—the program also provides free family passes to the museum.

“We want to actively engage the whole family—and what better way to do that then to get them here for a tour?” noted Bray, who said both organizations share a core value.

“We both believe in serving our communities—and that belief drives us both,” she added. “We are very excited and thankful at this opportunity to educate students and families on the importance of Revolutionary history and its relevance to today.”

Currently, the Traveling Trunk program is at Little Harbour School in Portsmouth.