Working with teenage mums

October 16, 2010

A three-year project at National Museums Liverpool has given teenage mums a chance to learn new skills and has provided the Museums with some great products for family visitors.

As part of a program that releases teenage parents from school one day per week to assist them with their additional responsibilities as parents, Museum staff worked with several local agencies that already had links with teenage parents to provide a program that gave these teenagers confidence, new skills and further insight into their new role as parents.

In the first year, the participants in the project worked with an artist and staff from the Walker Art Gallery to create a tactile alphabet play mat that the Gallery still uses for a weekly toddlers session. They spent time getting to know the Gallery, had talks from curators and other staff, and learnt skills from the artist as they created the mat. In the second year, two projects were run. One taught digital photography skills and the other created a children’s trail through the Bugs and Insects galleries of the World Museum. In the third year, the group created textile panels that will form a story-telling tent at the soon-to-be opened Museum of Liverpool.

And that should be the end of the story – but it isn’t. Because even through the funding has run out, one of the project partners – a teenage pregnancy support group – saw so much benefit to the program that they have extended the partnership, asking the Museum to create a unit of learning that they could offer their clients. So the next project will be based around story-telling – helping the new parents to understand different story-telling techniques and how they can be applied. So no questions about whether this project met it s goals!

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