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Free museum membership upgrade for Sanibel school families

By Staff | Apr 20, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED The Sanibel School Principal Chuck Vilardi, left, with Kiwanis members Pete Bender and Eric Pfeifer, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum Executive Director Dorrie Hipschman and Kiwanis President Jason Smith, right.

Earlier this year, the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum announced that the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club had underwritten a portion of the value of an annual family membership for all families at The Sanibel School.

To encourage families to take advantage of the offer, the museum has increased the membership to the $100 level to include reciprocity with other museums through the North American Reciprocal Museum Association program. It is one of the largest reciprocal membership programs in the world and has 985 arts, cultural and historical institutions, along with botanical gardens, children’s museums, science and technology centers that offer their NARM qualified members reciprocal benefits.

“Kiwanis is proud to support the kids and families at the Sanibel School,” Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club President Jason Smith said previously. “To be able to help both our National Shell Museum and our island youth, at the same time, makes it even more worthwhile.”

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is the only one in the United States solely devoted to shells and the mollusks that create them. The accredited natural history museum is home to scientists, marine biologists and volunteers who are passionate about the study of shells, mollusks and protecting the oceans’ biodiversity.

“The Sanibel School is honored that the shell museum is reaching out to our families. Hands-on learning is key,” Principal Chuck Vilardi said previously. “It is exciting that our students are offered such wonderful opportunities here on Sanibel. Thank you to Kiwanis and the national shell museum for supporting the education of our youth.”

To obtain their free membership, interested families from The Sanibel School can sign up at the museum’s front desk or contact Leigh Gay at 239-395-2233 with any questions.

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is at 3075 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel.

It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about the museum, visit www.ShellMuseum.org.