Mission: The mission of Renfrew Institute for Cultural and Environmental Studies is to guide the people of the Cumberland Valley region to become stewards of their natural and cultural worlds. In order to achieve its mission, the institute provides environmental and cultural education to elementary and secondary school children, supports and conducts research about natural and cultural history, provides opportunities for adults to learn about the nature and culture of the region and the world beyond and presents programs that inform and entertain the community.
Programs: Renfrew Institute's educational series is designed for students from pre-kindergarten through grade six.
Institute school programs (12 environmental and 7cultural) are offered in a continuum of professionally written, curriculumdriven experiences. Environmental programs range from the sensory based earlychildhood experience (pre-school/kindergarten) to an advanced science programin wetlands ecology for sixth grade students. The cultural programs interpretan1800s Pennsylvania German farmstead with programs in dairy culture, PennsylvaniaGerman four-square garden, wool culture, flax culture, historic foodways and amuseum house tour. Educators from across the region appreciate that ourofferings help students reach state standards through rich hands-on activitiesthat cannot be duplicated in the traditional classroom setting, in a style werefer to as “authentic learning.” Immersion experiences in the natural world, on the trails of Renfrew Museumand Park, also help children develop a relationship with nature that invitesthem to engage in outdoor recreation. A national movement aimed at encouragingyoung people to lead more active lives is gaining momentum, with encouragementfrom both the health industry and the educational community. Studies in botharenas are revealing the importance of a connection with the natural world.