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Cultural Passport

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WSVN -- Tour Guide: "Does anyone know why these farmers are wearing kerchiefs?"

These fourth graders from Brentwood Elementary are getting a real live lesson today outside the classroom.

Tour Guide: "Now eventually, that corn would be turning into meal."

They learned about the Seminole Indian Tribe and what daily life was like back then.

Boy: "Fishing, hunting animals."

This field trip to History Miami was made possible through a $1 million grant from the Knight Foundation.

It started with a contest called the Knight Arts Challenge.

Dennis Scholl, Vice President of Arts, Knight Foundation: "It has to be about art, it has to take place in or benefit South Florida, and if we fund you, you must find matching money to fund your art idea."

The big winner: the Miami-Dade County School System, which came up with the cultural passport program.

The goal: for every student in every grade to experience one cultural field trip a year, whether it be the opera, the ballet or the museum.

Matthew Sabatella, Program Coordinator for Cultural Passport: "It's one thing for them to read it in a book, but when they can come out and experience it and see the artifacts and put their hands on things, it really increases the learning."

There are a lot of artifacts for kids to touch at History Miami, where they learn about Florida's first settlers and the history of Miami Beach.

Jhordyn Payton, Fourth Grader: "We came to the museum to learn about the Indians, artifacts and to explore new things."

All of the exhibits encourage student participation, from dressing up in that time period to taking part in daily rituals.

The program allows students an opportunity to experience the arts with the hope of making it a part of their lives forever.

Matthew Sabatella: "So hopefully, it will come back to the parents and make everyone aware of what's available at their fingertips in South Florida."

Lynn Martinez: "The goal of the program is to reach more than 130,000 public school students."

FOR MORE INFORMATION:History The Foundation for New Education Initiatives, Knight

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