March 9, 2017
BancFirst Announces Sponsorship of Oklahoma History Center Traveling Trunks at Cross Timbers Elementary
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center (OHC) is pleased to announce that BancFirst is sponsoring the award-winning Traveling Trunk Program for the 2016–2017 school year, and has provided funds for the Land Run trunk to visit Cross Timbers Elementary in Edmond, Okla.
Over the past several years state budget cuts have reduced the funding of the Oklahoma Historical Society by 40 percent, resulting in a reduction in OHC Education Department staff. The sponsorship offered by BancFirst allows the Education Department to add a part-time program coordinator to work collaboratively with local BancFirst bank officers to encourage schools in their areas to participate in the program.
“Providing lessons on Oklahoma’s history to Oklahoma’s future is a project we wanted to be a part of. The Traveling Trunk Program provides great hands-on resources for teachers and allows students in our communities an opportunity they might not otherwise experience,” said David E. Rainbolt, BancFirst CEO.
The Traveling Trunk Program began 10 years ago as a way to offer a hands-on museum experience to students and teachers unable to visit the OHC. At that time, two trunks were made available that contained a few artifacts and replicas. There are now 26 trunks available reaching more than 25,000 students in two-thirds of the counties in the state every year. The OHC expects to extend the participation to 30,000 students in the next academic year. Some of the topics offered are colonial history, early Oklahoma, 19th-century Oklahoma, 20th-century Oklahoma, people of Oklahoma and American Indian nations of Oklahoma.
Recently, the OHC Traveling Trunk Program earned the Education Committee Award for Excellence in Programming from the Mountain-Plains Museums Association (MPMA). MPMA is an organization representing 10 states in the nation’s Great Plains region. The Traveling Trunk Program was further honored by The Oklahoman as a “Newspapers in Education’s (NIE) Partner of the Year” for working to provide hands-on learning experiences to students.
The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.