Back to School

Steve White presenting Conn. Gov. Dannel Malloy with a Morgan trunnel at a press conference in Hartford announcing the academic year 2013-14 as the “Year of the Charles W. Morgan.”

Steve White presenting Conn. Gov. Dannel Malloy with a Morgan trunnel at a press conference in Hartford announcing the academic year 2013-14 as the “Year of the Charles W. Morgan.”

September first and Labor Day always trigger that “back to school” response at the end of summer, but while indeed school children head back to their classrooms and meet their new teachers with refreshed expectations, the summer remains in full force at Mystic Seaport for another 45 days at least. September and October are two of the very best months to visit the Museum grounds.  We look forward to seeing you!

This year, “back to school” means something entirely different here in Connecticut, as the July 21 launch of the Morgan signaled the beginning of the “Year of the Charles W. Morgan” as declared by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the state Senate. All year long we will be celebrating the connection and educational value of the great whaleship with school children and educators across the state. Our Education Department has been working in concert with superintendents, principals, and teachers to develop relevant learning experiences at the Museum as well new opportunities to engage classrooms through on-site visits and new interactive programs resulting from the innovative work of the soon-to-be-launched Online Learning Community. The Morgan’s rich history combined with the plans for her ceremonial 38th Voyage in 2014 creates many unique and compelling opportunities for us to share the ship’s lessons with school children across the state.

The culminating experience of the “Year of the Charles W. Morgan” in Connecticut will be her visit to New London next May, her first port of call during her voyage.  While docked in New London, she will be ballasted and properly fitted out for her journey. The southeastern Connecticut community can help us celebrate New London’s great whaling tradition and bring tremendous validation to the roots of a city that what was once one of the top five whaling ports in the United States. There from late May to mid-June, the Morgan will be open to school children to complete their curricular work and to see how a traditional sailing ship prepares for a voyage.

Mystic Seaport has long been an important focal point for school groups as a place for informal and experiential learning. This academic year will bring new and truly unique opportunities to all those teachers and students who embrace the “Year of the Charles W. Morgan” and all that it can represent for the year ahead.

Steve White