$5,000: Keeler in Ridgefield receives project sponsorship

Antony Tokarr, who is the branch manager of Ridgefield's M&T Bank location in the town, recently presented the Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center's Executive Director Hildegard Grob with a $5,000 sponsorship of the Museum and History Center's history programs for a Title 1 School Students project. Pictured are: Tokarr, and Grob.

Antony Tokarr, who is the branch manager of Ridgefield’s M&T Bank location in the town, recently presented the Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center's Executive Director Hildegard Grob with a $5,000 sponsorship of the Museum and History Center’s history programs for a Title 1 School Students project. Pictured are: Tokarr, and Grob.

Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center / Contributed photo

Antony Tokarr, Ridgefield M&T Bank branch manager, presented the Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center executive director Hildegard Grob with a $5,000 sponsorship of the Museum and History Center’s history programs for a Title 1 School Students project Dec. 3.

The grant will fund the development and execution of digital learning programs and virtual field trips so that every classroom can engage with the Tavern Museum and History Center’s story remotely.

“This gift will allow Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center to be able to provide equitable access to our school programs,” Grob said. “Now, more than ever, it is important to provide all students the opportunity to learn about history’s relevance in framing current issues and providing a deeper understanding of the world we live in. Engaging with students and teachers on a digital platform also allows us to expand our reach beyond the typical school bus ride to include classrooms from across the nation,” Grob said.

Gifts such as the M&T Bank donation allows the Tavern Museum and History Center to present engaging stories about local history using a variety of instructional technologies, including online lessons and virtual field trips, which are presented live with a Tavern Museum and History Center educator and are streamed into classrooms or home based learning environments.

“M&T Bank is proud to support the Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center with our donation,” Tokarr said. “M&T is invested in the Ridgefield community, and Keeler Tavern is a shining example of an organization that highlights the rich history that Ridgefield has. Keeler Tavern connects the past with the future through its history education programs to young students. M&T Bank is proud to support Keeler Tavern’s mission and make it more accessible for all learners,” Tokarr said.

With over 300 years of history at its site, The Tavern Museum and History Center offers school programs that use local history as a window onto larger, nationally significant events -- like the Battle of Ridgefield, the only inland battle in Connecticut during the American Revolution. A British cannonball that struck the tavern is still visible today.

During the coronavirus pandemic, when onsite, in person learning is not possible, the Tavern Museum and History Center’s school programs present these stories using a variety of instructional technologies, including the live virtual field trips as well as printable lessons and activities that are available on its website.

Using digital platforms like Google Slides and EdPuzzle, The Tavern Museum and History Center offers interactive learning experiences where students can design their own museum exhibits or participate in inquiry based learning with objects from the Tavern Museum and History Center’s collection.