Boston Children’s Museum Receives National Leadership Grant to Directly Support School Readiness Through Partnerships

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Grant and Launch of New Website Enhance the Capacity of Museum and Library Educators to Support Children and Families

Photo credit: Paul Specht

This program allows us to leverage our decades of experience developing school readiness programs and resources for young children and to share our knowledge with thousands of families.

Boston Children’s Museum recently received a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services dedicated for School Readiness through Partnerships: Museums, Libraries and State Early Learning Systems Project.

This grant harnesses the collective power of museums, libraries, state early learning systems and other community organizations to directly support school readiness for children and especially those in underserved communities. The Collective Impact Framework will build upon the success of Boston Children’s Museum’s Race to the Top – Museums/Libraries Project, which effectively created a wide network connecting museums and libraries across Massachusetts.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue the valuable work we have been doing with museums and libraries over the past four years,” said Carole Charnow, President & CEO. “This program allows us to leverage our decades of experience developing school readiness programs and resources for young children and to share our knowledge with thousands of families. We deeply thank our funders who have made this important work possible."

With the generous support of Institute of Museum and Library Services, the new School Readiness through Partnerships project will enhance the capacity of museum and library educators to support children and families through:

1) Convening of regional networks of museums, libraries, state early learning systems and other community‐based organizations
2) Coordinating with the regions to create a shared vision for informal learning opportunities through effective collaborations
3) Auditing of informal learning programs for quality and engagement
4) Informal review of family engagement practices
5) Assessing professional development opportunities for educators
6) Developing of new programs, resources and services based on needs articulated by the collaborative team

The Project will continue to strengthen the regional network in Massachusetts and, working with strategic partner, BUILD Initiative, expand the program to three additional states over three years.

“The importance of school readiness has been well documented, as has the need to invest in those efforts,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “IMLS has challenged libraries and museums to take a leading role in their communities’ early learning strategies. We are proud to support leaders like Boston Children’s Museum as they work on collective impact models that can be adapted for use across the country.”

Boston Children’s Museum will work closely with the following partners to implement the project:
‐ BUILD Initiative; working with early childhood leaders at the state level across the country to better prepare young children to thrive and succeed.
‐ Imagination Playground; committed to creative free‐play supported by an engaged community of parents, educators, caregivers, researchers and leaders. Creators of large‐scale eponymous building blocks.
‐ Goodman Research Group; evaluators with a long‐standing practice in evaluating the efficacy of programs at the state, regional and local levels.
‐ Association for Children’s Museums; a clearinghouse for data and shared best practices for the children’s museum field internationally.

An expansion of the resources for families with preschool children includes a newly launched website with tools and additional information that increases the high quality and enriching experiences may be found at http://www.School-Readiness.org

About Boston Children's Museum
Boston Children’s Museum engages children and families in joyful discovery experiences that instill an appreciation of our world, develop foundational skills, and spark a lifelong love of learning. More information about Boston Children’s Museum can be found at http://www.BostonChildrensMuseum.org. Become a fan of the Museum on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Hours and Admission
The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Fridays until 9:00 p.m. Adults, $16, children (1-15) and senior citizens, $16; children under 12 months and Museum members are always free. Fridays 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., all visitors $1.

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Media Contact:    
Jo-Anne Baxter
617-986-3702
Baxter(at)BostonChildrensMuseum(dot)org

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