National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
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For Teachers

Study Trips

A study trip to the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) is an exciting enhancement to classroom and in-home learning. Students who visit the NCSML have the opportunity to learn about:

  • Czech and Slovak immigration in the United States,
  • The development of Czech Village,
  • The flood on 2008 and its impact on the three historic Czech neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids, and 
  • How families can prepare for future disasters.

The NCSML provides a multicultural adventure, connecting students to the larger, global community in a personal manner.

In addition to school and youth group tours, the NCSML offers a wide assortment of tour packages available to motorcoach tour planners. For more information about motorcoach trips to the NCSML, please contact Jan Stoffer at  (319) 362-8500 ext. 218.

MAKING A RESERVATION

1) Contact Jan Stoffer at Jan@NCSML.org  or call (319) 362-8500 ext. 218 to make your reservation THREE WEEKS in advance of your preferred tour date.
2) Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Name of school/organization
  • Contact person
  • Telephone number
  • Mailing address
  • Number of students
  • Ages/grade levels of students
  • Preferred date and time (please have 1 or 2 alternative days and times in mind)
  • Anticipated number of adult chaperones and school staff coming (2 adults per group of 15 students is usually sufficient)
  • Which tour package you are interested in
  • How the you will pay for the tour
  • Additional information, i.e. how a study trip to the NCSML ties into what students are learning, additional information you are looking for, if the students or teachers will be making purchases while on the walking tour, if students be working on an assignment during their visit to the NCSML, etc.

3) Pre-visit materials are available. Also, the NCSML offers off-site visits to school groups before they tour the NCSML. Students will receive an introduction that prepares them for their visit and provides valuable background information to them and teachers. To receive pre-visit materials or to schedule an off-site visit, contact Jan Stoffer at Jan@NCSML.org or (319) 362-8500 ext. 218.

4) If you would like to lunch in Czech Village, you may use Sokol Park, located at the corner of 16th Avenue SW and A Street SW.  Please encourage your students to bring a ‘no waste’ lunch. Also, we request you bring a trash bag and remove your waste from the park. If this option is not ideal due to weather, please contact Jan Stoffer for more options.

5) After booking your tour, you will receive a confirmation letter. Please review the confirmation letter for accuracy and contact Jan Stoffer if you need to alter your tour arrangements.

PREPARING TO GO TO THE NCSML

1) Review and conduct pre-visit activities. These materials not only help prepare the students for their trip, they also inspire a sense that students belong in the NCSML and build anticipation for what they are about to see at the NCSML. Encourage students to prepare questions for the docents and staff.

2) Please have your class prepared to divide into groups of no more than 15 students. If this is not possible, please talk with Jan Stoffer for other possible options.

3) Name tags are very helpful for our staff and docents. Please have everyone wear a name tag in a visible location.

4) Please review NCSML expectations for students visiting the NCSML:

  • Flash photography is allowed on the walking tour. Photographs may not be taken in the galleries.
  • Food, beverages, candy, and gum are not allowed in the NCSML galleries or Museum Store. Arrangements may be made for items purchased at Sykora Bakery.
  • Students are expected to stay with their groups, be courteous to their guides, and be respectful of other visitors to the NCSML and businesses on the walking tour.
  • Docents and staff will let students know when it is appropriate to touch an item on exhibit.
  • Students working on writing assignments or worksheets while touring the NCSML should have a pencil and notebook on which to write. Pens are not allowed in the galleries.

5) Please note that chaperones, teachers, and school staff are responsible for all disciplinary issues and keeping the students focused and on-task while at the NCSML.

HOW TO GET TO THE NCSML

Address: 1400 Inspiration Place SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404

Directions to the Museum and Library from I-380 heading north:
1. Take Exit 18- Wilson Avenue (marked with brown signs for the museum)
2. Turn right at the light onto Wilson Avenue
3. Turn left at the light onto J Street SW
4. Turn right at the stop sign onto 16th Avenue SW- a one way street
5. Stay in the right lane and cross C Street SW to drive into Czech Village
6. Turn left onto Inspiration Place SW

Directions to the Museum and Library from I-380 heading south:
1. Take Exit 18- Wilson Avenue (marked with brown signs for the museum)
2. Turn left at the light onto Wilson Avenue and immediately move into the right-hand lane
3. Turn left at the light onto J Street SW
4. Turn right at the stop sign onto 16th Avenue SW- a one way street
5. Stay in the right lane and cross C Street SW to drive into Czech Village
6. Turn left onto Inspiration Place SW

7. If necessary, call the NCSML at (319) 362-8500 for assistance.


YOU’VE ARRIVED! WHAT DO YOU DO?

1) Plan to quickly disembark upon your arrival.
2) Free off-street parking is available for school buses at Sokol Park located at the corner of 16th Avenue and A Street SW. Additional free parking is available in the parking lot behind the Kosek Building.
3) NCSML staff and docents will meet large student groups in front of the museum. Please have students in their groups before the welcome begins.
4) Teachers and school aides, please identify yourselves to the NCSML docent or staff member leading your group.
5) Please note, restrooms and drinking fountains are available.
6) Have fun! This study trip is intended to inspire and excite students about people in their community and the world around them.

IT’S OVER, AND WE’VE HAD A GREAT DAY!

Just because your tour has ended doesn’t mean the learning has! Post-visit materials are available for classroom and home follow-up sessions. Students are encouraged to keep asking questions. Try to ‘Stump the Museum Staff.” We look forward to questions and comments we receive from those who have just visited the museum.

Learn more about life in Czechoslovakia during the communist era:


This presentation was kindly supported by a grant from Humanities Iowa.


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