Penobscot Marine Museum has received a $42,000 Museums for America grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C. The federal funding will support expansion and improvements to the museum’s educational services over the next 18 months.

“We are thrilled to receive this new funding award,” said Betty Schopmeyer, the museum’s education director. “It will enable us to teach literacy skills and provide other education programs to more students in more schools throughout Maine.”

According to Schopmeyer, the grant award was based partly on the museum’s successful use of an earlier grant to create Penobscot Bay History Online (, an education website focusing on the history of Penobscot Bay; and to align its educational programs with the Maine Learning Results, the document that describes the skills that students throughout the state at all levels of public education must master.

With the new funding, the education website will be expanded and updated with new primary source materials for students and new chapters on maritime history. The museum’s Maritime History and Literacy Curriculum, which is used in school and after-school programs in several communities, will be organized into kits that can be rented out, greatly reducing the costs to school districts. Some curriculum units will be revised for use at the preschool level by Head Start and other early childhood programs. Finally, the curriculum will be updated to correspond with the new Common Core Standards, which will soon replace the Maine Learning Results.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Museums for America is the Institute’s largest grant program for museums, supporting projects and ongoing activities that build museums’ capacity to serve their communities. For more information, visit

Penobscot Marine Museum is Maine’s oldest maritime museum and home to outstanding collections of marine art and artifacts, small craft, ship models and historic photography. For more information, call 548-2529 or visit

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to