What is the best way to spark curiosity in young students about our shared human past and create a bridge to future university attendance? Visit special collections for an adventure! Aligning with Loyola Marymount University’s mission to promote social justice, two departments in the William H. Hannon Library – Archives and Special Collections with Outreach and Communications – join together with the LMU Information Technology Services to collaborate on robust educational programs for local schools.

We will illustrate the creative design process for an engaging library program that facilitates active learning with cultural artifacts and provides the opportunity for K-12 students to visualize themselves being successful at a university. Also, we will highlight the steps for coordinating, planning, and implementing the program with multiple internal and external community partners. Grounded in best practices using feedback from teachers and students, we will present our innovative, hands-on program for a group of socio-economically disadvantaged 5th graders from a Los Angeles Unified School District campus. Featuring treasures from Special Collections and aligning closely with California Curriculum, this program provides an immersive experience with Revolutionary War artifacts, 3-D technology, and contemporary children’s literature representing women and minorities.

Various successful programming topics and lesson plans for multiple grade levels will demonstrate the program’s adaptability, with practical tips on developing inclusive educational programs with community partners, connecting students with special collections in an academic library setting.