CHARLESTON – Students across Logan County are enjoying free field trips thanks to funding provided by the Clay Center. The Center is using all of the proceeds from ticket sales of its three sold-out December concerts by Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. to offer one-time free admission to schoolchildren in Logan County.
The $30,000 given by the Center can be used for art and science museum gallery visits, films, planetarium shows and even tickets to “Classroom in the Clay Center” performances.
The Center had first planned to use a portion of the proceeds from Landau’s originally-scheduled performance to fund field trips for Logan County schools. After two more shows sold out, Clay Center President and CEO Judy Wellington said the Center reevaluated the situation and saw potential for a greater gift.
“When we looked at the numbers and realized how close we were to funding a trip for every student, we decided to put 100 percent of the net proceeds into an access fund for Logan County schools,” she said. “The money will stay in the fund until it has been used and all students in Logan County have had the opportunity to experience hands-on art and science education at the Center.”
Wellington said only about 10 percent of Logan County students visit the Center each year – a significantly lower number than neighboring counties like Boone and Lincoln.
“Schools have trouble planning field trips for many reasons – ticket fees, transportation costs, bus availability, time, distance and other factors,” she said. “This was something we could do to make learning outside the classroom more accessible for Logan County students. Since Landau is from that area, it made perfect sense.”
Students from Verdunville Elementary, Omar Elementary, Holden Elementary, Logan Elementary, Logan Middle and Chapmanville Middle have already taken advantage of the opportunity to visit the Clay Center for free. Trips have also been scheduled for groups from Buffalo Elementary and some of the schools already mentioned.
Chapmanville Middle School Assistant Principal Stephanie Clapham said the funding went a long way in helping her students explore the Center’s science galleries, watch giant screen film “Roar: Lions of the Kalahari” and learn about chemistry, physics and physical science through interactive science demonstrations.