Anderson Children's Foundation

Coachella Valley Historical Society

Jr. Historians After-School Program (2022-2023, 2020-2021)

The innovative Junior Historian Afterschool Program is fueled by boots-on-the-ground outdoor experiences that engage students, provide personal connections to the community, and deliver a high-quality learning environment. Housed on the historic campus of the Coachella Valley History Museum, students investigate the 1926 adobe home of Dr. Harry Smiley; experience life in a 1909 one-room schoolhouse; and explore the outdoor natural environment, blacksmith shop, desert submarine, antique farming equipment, date museum, and more!

The Jr. Historians Program immerses children in on-site historic exploration activities while providing hands-on project-based lessons, old-fashioned games, and a nutritional snack in a safe learning environment. In contrast to the use of textbooks and the “virtual world of technology,” we offer “boots on the ground” experiences for young children to explore the rich historical resources of the Coachella Valley History Museum.

The Coachella Valley History Museum has many reasons to offer programs catering to children. The study of history builds critical thinking skills for students as they read, analyze, interpret, and support judgments with evidence. These thinking skills are critical tools for citizens in our democratic system. Our mix of cross-grade levels is healthy as students learn from each other and develop respect, patience, and a new depth of knowledge because of the diverse multi-age group of students.

With the diminished instructional time for history, geography, economics, and civics at elementary schools, it is unfortunate that those most in need of citizenship skills are the least likely to receive such support. The museum’s educational program addresses this need.

Coachella Valley History Museum

82-616 Miles Avenue, Indio, CA 92201

Website: www.

Young at Art (2018-2019)

When Carolyn Cook took over as Coachella Valley History Museum Director, Myra Byrd, Mary Minamide, Mary Shmorhun, and Betty Morgin registered and taught summer art classes. Now, Young at Art offers a four week summer art program for children 8-14 years old. Since its inception, Young at Art has fulfilled a need that schools have not been able to meet, experiencing different art media on a consistent basis. So much so, that we've had many returning students and ones who bring their siblings or friends back with them to participate. Young at Art offers a four week summer art program. There is a class in clay for each week or you can choose a drawing class the first week with charcoal and oil pastel. For the second week, watercolor painting is offered. The third week, printmaking, foil art, and sunufu fabric art can be selected. The fourth week, multi media sculpture projects are planned. The clay class is held in the ceramic studio at the Coachella Valley History Museum and the mixed media classes are held in a room at the Date Museum. Classes are two hours a day for five days. Each week the projects change. We have a kiln, so for those students choosing to take a clay class, they will experience the complete ceramic process. At the end of four weeks, we hold a reception and display all the artwork that was created. Families are invited to come and see all of the wonderful creations. We'll have punch and cookies and then the students can take their work home.