It is a statement heard by museum staff almost every open weekend. “Oh yeah, I’ve visited Centennial Village before on a field trip in fourth grade.” If that idea rings true for you, or anyone you know, then you have experienced a core aspect of the City of Greeley Museums mission statement. Charged with collecting, preserving, interpreting, and sharing the history of northeastern Colorado, the museums serve approximately 6000 students each year by bringing history to life and helping students understand why it matters.

An adult sits at a table demonstrating old sewing machines to school children seated on the floor.

Volunteer Courtney Willis demonstrates historic sewing practices to a student group during the High Plains History Festival.
Photo courtesy of: City of Greeley Communications and Engagement- 2017

Museum educators regularly visit Greeley-Evans District 6 classrooms, facilitate field trips to Centennial Village and the Greeley History Museum, and provide programs for youth camps during summer months. The highlight of each educational year is the High Plains History Festival, held every May and September. This experience at Centennial Village welcomes 2000 school students each session for a full day of historical activities, programming, and student-centered fun.

All these activities would not be possible without the partnership and support of Greeley-Evans School District 6 teachers, principals, administrative staff, and parents. These partners advocate for, plan, and help chaperone historic education both in the classroom and at museum sites. These partners willingly put in extra time and energy into such experiences, all for the benefit of the students they serve. This work has a visible impact, seen when excited students share their museums experiences, bring their parents and friends back for repeat visits to the museums, and attend other events such as a summer camps and special events.

Another partner helping make these educational experiences possible is the Poudre Heritage National Recreation Area (NRA). Their mission is to promote a variety of historical and cultural opportunities, engage visitors and residents in the landscape, and inspire learning, preservation, recreation, and stewardship through various programming efforts. In Greeley, the Poudre Heritage NRA’s efforts take the form of field trip grants, assisting schools with the costs of transportation and admission to visit the museums. During the 2023-2024 school year, Poudre Heritage has partnered directly with our museum system to expand access to the High Plains History Festival for Title One and other schools with demonstrated financial need. To learn more about the work Poudre Heritage NRA performs in northern Colorado, check out them at on the web at

Museum education programs apply to more than just elementary students. The beginning of 2024 saw a renewed partnership with the University of Northern Colorado’s History Department. The Museums are working with department faculty and upper-level history students to create a workplace museum skills internship course. The offering explores the fundamentals of resource interpretation and education as one area that students can consider as a future career beyond traditional education, academia, and pre-law tracks most associated with a history degree. Interested in seeing what the 2024 interns are up to? They’ll be presenting their work during the Museums’ first event of the year, Baby Animal Days, on Saturday, April 20th at Centennial Village.

From experiential field trips to on-the-job learning, museum education is alive and well in Greeley today. Interested in helping bring the past alive for the next generation of students? Consider becoming a museum volunteer today and help us make history matter for students in northern Colorado!

Seven adults smile for the camera against a display wall of plaques.

The 2024 UNC Museum Intern Group with Historic Sites Supervisor Geoff Havens (furthest left individual).
Photo courtesy of: UNC Dept. of History, November 2023

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