Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi, email@example.com Friday, 10 January 2014 00:00
It sounds simple, but its effect is far reaching. The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum Board President John Specce announced that the New York State Board of Regents formally granted approval for a permanent charter to the museum.
The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum (OBRM) was incorporated under the University of the State of New York by the Board of Regents on July 26, 2006, under a provisional charter. The museum submitted an application for a permanent charter in 2012 and after a rigorous review process, including a visitation by State Education examiners, an absolute charter was approved. The review included criteria in the area of personnel, finances, facilities, collections, exhibitions and programs.
The museum is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation. Its facilities include a visitor center at 102 Avenue, the historic Presidential Oyster Bay Railroad Station and a display yard on Bayview Avenue, under an agreement with the Town of Oyster Bay.
An Added Value
Receiving the charter from the state is an added value for the museum since it makes the OBRM eligible for education grants and opens the museum up to the possibility of having schools bring students to the institution, explained Bill Bell, development director.
“We have an education program due to board member Bill Burke. The charter indicates to public schools that we can provide programs for younger kids,” said Bell.
Burke, who is a former NYC board of education high school administrator, designed a curriculum and a book for it. The education mission of the program is to inspire students and the general public through an exploration through their railroad displays, and artifacts in the Presidential Railroad Station in a way that educates and entertains.
Presidential Railroad Station
“The name Presidential Railroad Station is what Bill Burke calls it: a nice way of referencing Theodore Roosevelt,” he explained. “This will encourage field trips and perhaps, with the workbook, they can extend the field experience in the classroom. It contains a worksheet and is quite comprehensive.”
Burke will work with the schools. The curriculum contains a post-visit lesson plan at the elementary school level. It will re-enforce the activities at the museum: the railroad crossing signs and semaphore displays; the guide book is to familiarize them with railroad signage components.
Burke worked on the curriculum with an advisory committee. The members include board member Donald Zoeller; Dr. Phyllis Harrington, former OBEN school superintendent; Lara Gonzalez, advisor of social studies and career technologies for the OBEN school district; Jennifer Baxmeyer, director of education at the Cradle of Aviation Museum; and Harriet Gerard Clark, Raynham Hall Museum executive director. Raynham Hall Museum is connected to elementary school students in fourth grade through their study of American History.
The guest editor of the publication is Lauren Godoy, a board member and the ROP manager and copy editor for Michael C. Fina.
The new charter as an educational institution comes just as the OBRM has found out that Legislator Judy Jacobs has secured a $65,693 Community Revitalization grant to be used for the replacement of windows and doors and reinstallation of windows and doors bricked over in the 1965 renovation by the LIRR. The windows and doors are to match “what was there” prior to 1965 as the station is returned to its 1902 identity. It brings things together to better serve the public.
Bell said, “Judy has been such a friend and this is her last hurrah. I said to her, ‘Judy, you are going out with a bang and not a wimper.’ She was such a good friend to the museum.”
For more information on the museum visit www.obrm.org.