Teachers Learn To Put Deer Island Into Lesson Plans

Deer Island -- so close to shore, yet still undiscovered by so many people who live here.

Dina O'Sullivan is the museum educator for the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum.

"There's art and beauty of the trees and plants and flowers and birds."

The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum is trying to encourage teachers to explore the island's past and take it back to their classrooms.

"There's the history, a very significant history, of what happened in the past on the island. There's things to write about and we feel we can integrate into the curriculums many things about Deer Island."

Just across from the island, sits the new Ohr-O'Keefe Museum. Teachers are touring the Pleasant Reed House to get a new perspective on Biloxi's history and culture.

"We can actually come and draw the building. We can come inside and see the old furniture," Art Teacher Betty Ballande said. "I just think the children would be ecstatic to see something like this."

Gifted Teacher Sonja Sandig said, "I lived here all my life and I didn't know that this building was here. It's just opened my eyes in that aspect. There's so much that we can take our children to give them that cultural awareness."

With the museum opening next summer, and Deer Island within view, they provide the perfect inspiration for future generations.

"We're trying to be more like a classroom without walls. You're learning about life, diversity and art at the same time. It's not just coming to see pretty things," O'Sullivan said.

The museum will hold another seminar in the fall, which will focus on Horn Island.