Friday, December 11, 2009

Fun-Filled Family Night

Last week was the first Museum Learning Club Family Night of the school year. We welcomed 140 children and families from a record 16 different clubs – from Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence, Cranston’s Community Learning Center, Kent County YMCA, and Sackett Street, West End, Federal Hill House and Joslin community centers – for a fun-filled, PLAY-filled evening!
The partnership with these sites is part of the Museum's AmeriCorps program, made successful by a team of MuseumCorps educators who develop and facilitate hands-on activities for the centers’ after-school programs, guide the kids on Museum visits, and invite their families to free Family Nights - where they enjoyed a delicious dinner and received 46 free year-long memberships last week.
The kids’ work was also on display, from a club curriculum about building Super Structures, and it was really fun to see their creative constructions.
Here’s what some of the MuseumCorps members had to say about Family Night:

“It was really gratifying to get a chance to welcome the families of kids that we've been working with to the Museum. Giving them the opportunity to see our “home base” was rewarding and cathartic.”
Kevin (Kent County YMCA)

“I cheered - literally and with my heart - as I saw more and more kids and families from our clubs enter. With the intimacy of a private event, the Museum was an incredible space for these kids to celebrate their time with the Museum and Learning Clubs.”
Eric (South Side and Hartford Park Boys & Girls Clubs)

“The children entered the Museum with confidence and knowledge from our field trip earlier this session. It was so nice to see them excitedly touring their families around the Museum and showing off their work. There was also an opportunity for the families of the various clubs to interact. I noticed that one of the families from West Warwick met a family from Providence at dinner and they spent the rest of the night talking and playing together.”
Erin (Kent County YMCA)

“I was able to spend time in the activity room and play Stack ‘Em Up with the kids ... It was great to see kids from different sites building and interacting together.”
Kellyn (South Side and Hartford Park Boys & Girls Clubs)

“What struck me most about Family Night was that, with all the kids from our sites, I knew already what their limitations were. In Water Ways I allowed a lot more splashing because I knew the kids and knew how far they can go before I have to say stop. Likewise, I knew which kids to be maybe a little MORE protective of.”
Ian (South Side and Hartford Park Boys & Girls Clubs)

Building Stick Structures during a Learning Club session.

“My favorite bit of Family Night was watching Michael and Anthony, two kids from my Thursday-Friday club, playing in Air Play. They'd just been in Water Ways and their shirtsleeves were soaked from their wrists to their shoulders. “What happened?” “Water Ways.” But they weren't bothered by all that water; they were too busy playing, grinning, their heads turning as they followed the handkerchiefs blowing through the tubes.”
Annie (Museum-based team, serving Sackett Street, West End, Federal Hill House and Joslin community centers)

“While I took for granted that Family Night would be a fun night out for our children and their families, I hadn't initially thought of the event from a community building perspective. However, during the actual event, I witnessed parents talking about the Museum and their children with other parents that they had never met before and I realized the full value of family nights for our children, their family members, and the community as a whole.”
Meghan (Wanskuck Boys & Girls Club)

“The best part for me was watching kids excitedly introduce their grown-ups to the AmeriCorps leaders. You could tell the children wanted to share someone special with their grown-ups!”
Merideth (Outreach Program Developer)

Congratulations to all of the team members
on a successful evening!

No comments: