CarMax Foundation supports Conner Prairie for fourth year, backing museum’s successful youth volunteer program with $10,000 gift
Director of Public Relations
FISHERS, Ind. (Monday, Nov. 21, 2016/Conner Prairie) – The CarMax Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CarMax, has awarded $10,000 to Conner Prairie in support of its popular and highly successful youth volunteer program.
The grant will support the general operation of the program, which teaches youth ages 10-18 the importance of volunteerism, helps them build leadership and life skills, encourages their personal growth and development, and educates them about teaching Indiana history in a hands-on, interactive environment.
This is the fourth consecutive year that the CarMax Foundation has supported Conner Prairie’s youth volunteer program, which began nearly 50 years ago and has shaped thousands of young lives.
Youth learn public speaking skills, work ethic, poise, interpersonal skills and confidence through interaction with museum visitors throughout the year. The program is based on the understanding that youth are some of the best teachers, mentors and leaders of other youth.
“Youth volunteers reach our younger visitors at levels that adult interpreters simply cannot,” said Sarah Morin, who manages the program. “Our youth volunteers facilitate interactions and hands-on activities in both historic costumes and modern clothes in all areas of our historic grounds and they help implement special programs.”
Youth volunteers are involved in Conner Prairie’s agriculture program, daily interpretation and more. Youth volunteers are also highly involved in museum theater, working with Summer Advantage, which provides summer-long educational programming for at-risk youth. Conner Prairie’s Youth Museum Theater is a group of youth interpreters who have created an educational performance piece for Summer Scholars, an organization that provides summer-long educational programming for at-risk youth.
All youth must volunteer at least 120 hours a year. Combined, the group of 100 youth donates an average of 20,000 hours to Conner Prairie annually.
Last year, 35 youth in the program received letters of recommendation that focused on community service, character and leadership skills demonstrated at Conner Prairie. These were used for applications for jobs, college admission, high school admission, select research and service camps, National Junior Honor Society and scholarships. More than 75 percent of these youth successfully received recognition, support or employment based on their volunteer efforts at Conner Prairie.
Conner Prairie is accepting youth volunteer applications for 2017. Applications are available at connerprairie.org and are due Jan. 6.
The CarMax Foundation promotes education, youth leadership and children's healthy living in the communities where the company’s associates live and work. CarMax is the largest retailer of used cars in the U.S. and operates more than 160 stores in 38 states nationwide. For more, visit carmax.com.
Spanning 800 wooded acres in central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes nearly 390,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed destinations and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today.
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Conner Prairie's mission is to inspire curiosity and foster learning about Indiana by providing engaging, individualized and unique experiences. Created by Eli Lilly in 1934, Conner Prairie combines history with science, technology, engineering and math and encourages visitors to explore Indiana’s natural and cultural heritage through hands-on, immersive and interactive experiences. Inspiring visitors of all ages to discover more about the events, discoveries and forces that shaped the American Midwest, Conner Prairie offers various historically themed, indoor and outdoor experience areas throughout its 800 acres of wooded property in Fishers, Ind. Indiana’s first Smithsonian Institute Affiliate and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Conner Prairie is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization that relies on grants and philanthropic donations from corporations and individuals for sustainability and growth. Visit connerprairie.org or call (800) 966-1836 for admission dates, hours, ticket prices and opportunities to donate and volunteer. Conner Prairie is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.