School Groups and School Programming

At the Stowe Center, we encourage students to see themselves in history and as change-makers in our own historic moment. Tour Stowe’s Hartford home, a National Historic Landmark, and participate in extended learning programs where ideas turn into inspiration and positive change.

For the 2024-2025 academic year, the Stowe Center is prioritizing educational group tours and programming. From November 2024 through March 2025, school groups will be able to come to the Stowe Center Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons.

Tour Offerings

Option 1: Freedom and Agency Tour

The goal of our Freedom & Agency Tour is to empower children by teaching them about the life of Harriet Beecher Stowe and the larger history of anti-slavery activism in the United States. A major guiding philosophy of this tour is that any discussion of oppression and anti-Black racism should be counterbalanced by teaching about resistance and activism in ways the center Black voices and agency. We therefore place Stowe’s anti-slavery writing in context within a larger racial justice movement, highlighting the lives and work of major abolitionists like Frederick Douglass alongside lesser-known activists, freedom seekers, and enslavement survivors like Josiah Henson and Nancy Toney. Throughout the tour, we provide honest, evidence-based information about the history and conditions of U.S. enslavement. Our content is tailored for the concrete learning styles of younger children, with special care taken to ensure children aren’t overwhelmed or disempowered by this knowledge. Ultimately, we encourage young people to think about how they can create positive change in their own communities. This tour includes an art component which invites our visitors to draw themselves into history.

Option 2: Inheriting Freedom

The tour explores the life of Harriet Beecher Stowe and the larger history of anti-slavery activism in the United States, with a major focus on love and family as central to freedom struggles in both the past and present. Throughout American history, the efforts of abolitionist activists and freedom seekers were often motivated by the yearning to be united and safe with the people they loved most. Frederick Douglass was aided in his courageous escape from slavery by his wife-to-be, Anna Murray. Harriet Tubman’s dangerous underground railroad missions began as an effort to liberate family members. Even after legal enslavement ended in the United States, family members separated by their enslavers spent decades searching for one another, never giving up hope that they could be reunited in freedom. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s own anti-slavery writing was inspired by a multitude of Black activists, writers, and enslavement survivors who spoke out about the brutality of family separation under slavery. As we discuss these topics and more, we hope visitors are inspired to think about how we can continue to build a world where families of all kinds are safe, respected, and free to be together.

School Program Offerings

  1. Josiah Henson: Telling His Story, Writing His Future (for K-5 and 6-12)
  2. What is Freedom? (For K-12) and What Is Power? (For 6-12)
  3. Draw Yourself Into History (For K-12)

Contact Anita Durkin, ADurking@StoweCenter.org or 860-522-9258 – Senior Education Coordinator, for booking information.

All school programs support Common Core Learning Standards and the Connecticut Social Studies Framework.

Guided tours and programs are open to K-12 students. Available year round by advance reservation; reservations must be made 30 days in advance of proposed visit date. A ratio of 1 adult: 10 youth is required.

School groups are for 14 students or more. Minimum of 14 people. (Maximum per day is 44.)

Stowe House tours are available year-round with four (4) weeks of advance reservation.

Transportation funding possible, thanks to Travelers

School Group Guidelines & Policies

Read Visitation Guidelines 2023.

Photo Permission:

Staff at the Stowe Center may join the tour and will take pictures of the students. We do this with the utmost care and consideration, but it is so important for us to document our work with a range of audiences for our funders who underwrite our work, for grants we are writing to support us, and for marketing our work to build new audiences.  Per CT state law, this is permissible without a prior authorization from the guardian.  Should any student or caregiver choose to opt out of this request, we can be completely respectful of such requests. Teachers will point out any student who wishes to be excluded.   

Contact Anita Durkin, ADurking@StoweCenter.org or 860-522-9258 – Senior Education Coordinator, for booking information.


Major credit cards, check, or cash are accepted. PO and school invoicing processes are allowed.

Student Group Guided House Tour: $10 per student

Student Group Guided House Tour + Program: $11 per student

Complimentary admission for all teachers.

Chaperones receive discounted admission of $10 per person.

Additional Information

In the event that the Stowe Center or your school is closed due to inclement weather, we will make every effort to re-schedule your group.

If you will arrive more than 15 minutes early or late, please notify Anita Durkin at 860-522-9258 ext. 317.

We can accommodate vans and individual cars in our parking lot at 77 Forest Street. Buses can drop off students at the curb in front of the Stowe House and then park on Forest Street.

Tours require one chaperone for every 10 students Teachers/Chaperones are responsible for the group at all times.