Franklin native Virginia “Ginger” Steiner serves at the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut in Niantic as Volunteer Coordinator and a Museum Educator. Ginger’s Serve Here CT fellowship has empowered her to creatively and holistically engage her community through the museum.
As Museum Educator, Ginger has been teaching an extended learning time in the public schools called ‘Colorful Science’. The purpose of this program is to bring the exploration of the museum into the everyday classrooms of local students.
Ginger considers teaching the ‘Colorful Science’ program to her third-grade students at Jennings Elementary School in New London to be her most challenging and meaningful project at the museum.
As a Volunteer Coordinator, Ginger works to create greater volunteer retention by engaging volunteers in projects that are specifically meaningful to them. By giving volunteers greater responsibility and ownership over their engagement, the museum furthers its goal of anchoring the museum to the community through lasting relationships.
“Every day I see the incredible, positive impact that the Children’s Museum has on the community because of its day to day interactions with familiar faces,” Ginger says.
In her early 20s, Ginger couldn’t have imagined being tied down to one place. Now, she and her fiancé are considering buying a house in Franklin and Ginger serves on the board of Franklin’s historic house museum the Ashbel Woodward House.
Ginger believes the town of Franklin struggles to sustain healthy community because it lacks common areas, such as a town green or community buildings. That’s why she believes it’s so important to preserve the Ashbel Woodward House.
“Part of my mission in serving on the board is to preserve Franklin’s history and culture so that the town doesn’t just become stores and highways as our agricultural lands get sold to developers. I want to preserve the real history, culture and community of my hometown.”
Serve Here CT was founded to help build a sense of community and social capital with young people and empower them to become active community members through service.
Ginger Steiner, who has committed to her community and creatively invested in the community around her perfectly exemplifies the ideal Serve Here CT fellow.