Valentine Learning Trunks

Valentine Learning Trunk


For students learning together in hybrid or in-person settings, the Valentine is pleased to offer Valentine Learning Trunks. Learning Trunks are a comprehensive museum in a box experience loaned and delivered directly to your classroom. Each trunk comes with reproduction artifacts and primary sources, activities and suggested lesson plans for integrating this hand-on experience into your curriculum. Additionally, teachers are provided with supplemental digital content, including videos, activities and background information help you utilize the materials and connect with Virginia SOLs.

Trunks are delivered to schools by Valentine staff and can remain onsite for up to two weeks. Following your loan period, the Learning Trunk is picked up by a Valentine staff member, before being sanitized, tidied up and sent out to a new school.

Available Learning Trunk Themes:

  • Powhatan People (Grades K – 6)
  • Design in Time: Hats and Clothing from the past (Grades pre-K – 2)
  • Richmond Changes: Exploring Past and Present in Richmond (Grades K-6)

Learning trunks can also be combined with a virtual museum visit!

Curious what’s in a Learning Trunk? Check out a sneak peek of our Powhatan People trunk below!



Ballot Battle: Women’s Suffrage Virtual Program


100 years ago, women fought for and secured the right to vote with the enactment of the 19th Amendment in 1920. Who were the players working for and against women’s suffrage in Virginia? What strategies did they use to persuade? During this virtual program, students will consider these questions as they analyze primary source documents related to the pro and anti-suffrage movements in Virginia.  


Civil Rights Richmond: Housing Discrimination & Redlining Virtual Program

Right now, Richmond has 1,000 fewer affordable homes than we need to house our citizens this year. In this virtual programs, students will explore how the housing crisis emerged by analyzing primary source documents that look at housing discrimination in Richmond’s past in practice, policy and law. Look at Richmond’s redlining map from the 1930s and make connections from the past to current issues within our city.  


Analyzing Richmond’s Monuments Virtual Program












Richmond’s monument landscape has changed quickly and dramatically recently. In this virtual program, students will be introduced to lesser known Richmond monuments, discuss the nature of public memory, consider how monument design has changed in recent history and engage in critical thinking related to this timely topic. Students will learn about the Lost Cause mythology and analyze primary sources related to the creation of the Robert E. Lee monument on Monument Avenue in 1890.

Program Objectives: The student will demonstrate skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision making, and responsible citizenship by analyzing primary and secondary sources and evaluating current events and decisions in Richmond.


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Controversy/History Series

For most, 2020 brought unexpected challenges and uncomfortable conversations amidst a global pandemic and massive social change. This year, for the Valentine’s tenth season of our popular conversation series, we invite Richmonders to virtually engage with one another as we unpack this historic moment, the impact of 2020 and the way forward as a community.

Each event is co-hosted by Director Bill Martin and Coffee with Strangers host Kelli Lemon, with expert speakers and lively conversation among area experts and attendees.

The full schedule of 2020-2021 dates and topics can be found below. Controversy/ History is free, virtual and open to the public!

2020 and Voting
October 6, 2020 | 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Register here

2020 and Mental Health
November 3, 2020 | 5:30-6:30 p.m.

2020 and Business
December 1, 2020 | 5:30-6:30 p.m.

2021 and Education
January 5, 2021 | 5:30-6:30 p.m.

2021 and Activism
February 2, 2021 | 5:30-6:30 p.m.


33rd Annual Court End Christmas


The 33rd Court End Christmas will take place Sunday, December 8, from 12 to 4 p.m. Free admission and shuttle transportation will be provided to the following historic sites:

The Valentine, the Valentine First Freedom Center, The Executive MansionHistoric St. John’s ChurchVirginia State CapitolThe John Marshall HouseMonumental Church, American Civil War Museum’s White House of the Confederacy and Masons’ Hall

This fun community tradition includes children’s activities, performances, refreshments, gift shops, music, tours and much much more.

We’re excited to welcome The Urban Hang Suite, who will be on-site selling hot beverages and Ardent, who will be pouring their Valentine-inspired Winter Warmer beer. Attendees can also enjoy pizza from the Zorch Pizza food truck and music from 103.7 PLAY.

A full list of performances and activities at the Valentine (SHUTTLE STOP A/H):

You can enjoy even more activities at the other eight historic sites:

The John Marshall House (SHUTTLE STOP B): Preservation Virginia‘s John Marshall House is a short walk from the Valentine and the second stop on our bus route. They will be offering mini tours of the Chief Justice’s historic home every 15 minutes. Additionally, Silhouettes by Blane will be cutting silhouette portraits on a first come, first served basis.


The Virginia State Capitol (SHUTTLE STOP C): Designed by Thomas Jefferson, the Virginia State Capitol is one of nine sites taking part on Sunday, December 8. The capitol will offer Court End Christmas attendees hourly guided tours, and you’re invited to discover the history of this National Historic Landmark throughout the day.


The Executive Mansion (SHUTTLE STOP C): The Executive Mansion, home of Virginia Governors since 1813, is back for Court End Christmas 2019. The Mansion will be offering walk-through tours with guides on hand to provide information and answer questions. Cookies will also be available on a first come, first served basis.


The Valentine First Freedom Center (SHUTTLE STOP D): At the First Freedom Center, visitors will be able to enjoy gallery talks about the history of religious freedom. Visitors will be able to explore the space and see the First Freedom Monument where the General Assembly met during the American Revolution.


Masons’ Hall (SHUTTLE STOP E): National Historic Landmark Masons’ Hall will be holding an open house for Court End Christmas visitors. They will be offering tours for attendees to discover the history behind the oldest continuously operating Masonic Lodge in North America.


Historic St. John’s Church (SHUTTLE STOP F)St. John’s Church will be open for Court End Christmas from 1:00-5:00 offering tours and photos with Colonial Santa. This historic location will also have colonial crafts and refreshments available in the Visitor Center.


Monumental Church (SHUTTLE STOP G): Main Street A Capella will be performing for Court End Christmas audiences at Historic Richmond’s Monumental Church from 2:00-2:30 and again at 3:00-3:30. Monumental Church will also be offering tours throughout the day.


The American Civil War Museum’s White House of the Confederacy (SHUTTLE STOP A/H): The White House of the Confederacy will be offering Court End Christmas visitors stationed tours from noon to 4 p.m. They will also be providing light refreshments and children’s crafts.


Below, you can see the map for each bus stop. You can also access it HERE:



Era Explorations: Segregation/ Integration Virtual Program












In this virtual program, students will explore the realities of Jim Crow and the segregation and integration eras in the Greater Richmond area by examining the figures and disputes that shaped national change.

Program objectives: Students will work with primary source documents, newspaper articles and photos to examine the impact of segregation, integration and the Civil Rights Movement on Richmond citizens.



Era Explorations: WWII Homefront Virtual Program












In this virtual Era Explorations program, students will explore primary sources from the World War II home front, including themes of women in the workforce, rationing and the role of propaganda. Discover that victory was the result of efforts by men, women and children and the influence of icons, industry and marketing.


Era Explorations: Richmond in Black, White and Gray Virtual Program












Examine the Civil War in Richmond through primary sources from the lives of the free and enslaved, as well as the Union and Confederate from before, during and after the war. In this virtual program, students analyze artifacts, photographs and other primary sources produced during this period of American conflict.

Program Objectives: Students will learn how the development of a slavery-based agricultural economy in the South lead to the American Civil War, and determine Richmond’s role both in the slavery-based economy and as the Capitol of the Confederacy during the war. Students will also compare and contrast historical perspectives and apply evidence from primary source materials.



Powhatan People Virtual Tour

During your live virtual tour, students will join a Valentine Educator in real-time to learn about the Powhatan people who called the Richmond region home prior to colonization. Students will learn about Pocahontas, Chief Powhatan and the Virginia Indians’ use of natural resources. Pre-visit materials will prepare students to analyze and discuss a mystery object used by the Powhatan.

Program Objectives:

For 2nd Grade – Students will focus on natural resources, the settlement of Europeans and colonization of Virginia.

For 4th Grade- Students will focus on the Powhatan Indians as one of three Indian language groups in Virginia, Algonquin (Powhatan), Siouan, and Iroquoian and will identify and locate current state-recognized tribes.

Includes pre-visit materials and videos that provide supplemental content and activities!