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Release: Immediate

Annual WOW program will bring third-grade students to UI Museum of Art

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- More than 900 third-grade students from 19 local schools will visit the University of Iowa Museum of Art in February through the "Widen our World" (WOW) enrichment program.

WOW is a collaboration among the Museum of Art, the Iowa City Community School District and First National Bank. Participating students will come from Iowa City elementary schools, as well as Regina Elementary, Willowwind School and Lakeview Elementary in Solon.

Now in its seventh year, WOW is intended to introduce students to art and art museums as life-long resources for learning and enjoyment. By exposing the children to art from many cultures, the museum also hopes to deepen the children's appreciation of their own multi-cultural heritage.

Under the auspices of the WOW program, third-grade classes will visit the museum throughout February. Museum docents will guide the children, their teachers, parent volunteers, school administrators and First National Bank volunteers on one-hour tours of selections from the museum's permanent collection and special exhibitions. Student docents from City High School will also be on hand to work with the teachers.

The groundwork for the tours was laid by a teacher training in-service meeting in December. This program, as well as an educational packet, "Art Alive," containing essays, slides and a video of selected art that will be on display in February, is designed to ready teachers and children for their visit to the museum. In addition, the children will receive follow-up activity books specially prepared by the museum educational staff.

Major funding for WOW is provided by First National Bank of Iowa City, with additional funding provided by Mid-America Construction.

For further information about the WOW program, call Emily Vermillion, curator of education at the UI Museum of Art at (319) 335-1730, or the museum front desk at (319) 335-1727.