MOSI to be first Florida institution to increase accessibility to low-income families with Museums for All

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Museums for All is a new accessibility program for low-income families baring an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.

“Your zip code of birth or residence should not dictate your access to vital educational resources. Museums for All aligns with MOSI’s core ideology: to make science real for people of all ages and backgrounds,” said Molly Demeulenaere, Interim CEO

MOSI is proud to announce their participation in a cooperative initiative between the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and the Institution for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) titled Museums for All beginning Jan. 1, 2015. This effort offers access to programs that encourage families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits. MOSI will be the first institution in the state of Florida to take part in this program.

Museums for All will enable low-income families to visit MOSI year-round for a minimal fee. Effective Jan. 1, 2015, Florida residents baring an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card and a photo ID will be granted access for up to five (5) guests for $3 per person. Guests will be able to enjoy access to all of MOSI’s exhibit galleries, including Kids in Charge!, Disasterville and 3D Printing the Future: the Exhibition with their $3 admission.

“The Museums for All initiative represents a long stride toward our goal of reaching more children and parents, especially those living in poverty, with the valuable learning resources of museums,” said IMLS Director Susan H. Hildreth. “We know that only 43 percent of children in the lowest socioeconomic status visited museums in their kindergarten year, compared to 65 percent of children in the highest SES. The disparity of access to learning resources between children of affluence and those in poverty has created a knowledge gap with serious implications for our nation’s economic prosperity.”

This initiative will allow MOSI to expand its reach and impact. By removing the financial barrier, Museums for All also removes the social and academic barrier children face when they are not able to take part in high quality museum experiences.

“Your zip code of birth or residence should not dictate your access to vital educational resources. Museums for All aligns with MOSI’s core ideology: to make science real for people of all ages and backgrounds,” said Molly Demeulenaere, Interim CEO and President of MOSI. “Allowing families access to these resources will help put an end to the early learning crisis we are facing. We want children to go to school equipped with the academic and social skills needed for success, and we want them to learn those skills here at MOSI.”

A complete list of museum participants is available on the ACM website at http://www.childrensmuseums.org/museums-for-all/museums-for-all.html.
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About MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry)
MOSI is a not-for-profit, community-based institution and educational resource dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge, and understanding of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) and is home to the Florida Hospital IMAX® DOME Theatre, the only dome theater in the state of Florida. MOSI's core ideology is to make a difference in people's lives by making science real for people of all ages and backgrounds. MOSI gives away more than $3 million in free memberships each year, $250,000 in free tickets annually, and approximately 400 scholarships each year for children to attend MOSI Summer Science Camps. Additionally, MOSI’s education staff works closely with area teachers offering free training and support for area science educators. With a total size of more than 400,000 square feet, MOSI is the largest science center in the southeastern United States. Learn through play inside Kids In Charge! the largest Children’s Science Center in the nation or The Amazing You—a 13,000-square-foot exhibition on health and wellness. Conquer your fears on MOSI’s Sky Trail® Ropes Course and Zip Line. Budding inventors can engineer anything imaginable and hold it in the palm of their hand in MOSI’s technology playground and inventor’s studio, Idea Zone; and aspiring astronauts can travel to the moon to operate a lunar colony in Mission: Moonbase, funded in part by NASA. MOSI is the proud winner of the 2009 National Medal for Museums by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the nation’s highest honor for museums. For more information on MOSI, visit http://www.mosi.org.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit http://www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Association of Children’s Museums (ACM)
In an increasingly complex world, children’s museums provide a place where all kids can learn through play and exploration with the caring adults in their lives. There are approximately 400 children’s museums around the world, which annually reach more than thirty-one million visitors. ACM provides leadership, professional development, advocacy and resources for its member organizations and individuals. To learn more about ACM and to find an ACM-member children’s museum near you, visit http://www.ChildrensMuseums.org.

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Megan Haskins
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