Sponsored by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, the Best
Practice Awards honor Rhode Island nonprofit organizations that have
demonstrated outstanding practices in the areas of advocacy,
collaboration, communications, innovation and leadership. The Museum
will receive the leadership award for increasing operational
efficiencies by defining strong strategic priorities, restructuring
staff and adding expertise to create a strong staff leadership team.
As part of our most recent strategic plan, the leadership team
sought community input, tested assumptions, and questioned everything to
define clear operational and programmatic objectives:
Effective, engaging and frequently changing exhibits
Outreach to underserved children and families
Leadership role in the free play movement
Financial resources to accomplish goals
Well-qualified, highly motivated staff
Sufficient physical facilities and technology
With increased capacity and clear priorities, we have greatly enhanced our offerings and deepened our impact in
the community and are achieving major
Implementing a multi-year plan for changing exhibits, resulting in
steadily and sustainably increasing numbers of visitors.
Strategically targeting outreach to Providence’s Southside to
increase impact: daily presence at Boys & Girls Club Southside,
partnership with Fogarty and Highlander schools, pop-up play at
Opened a new homelike facility to serve DCYF-involved families, expanding capacity of our Families Together program.
Taking a leadership role to promote the essential role of free play in children’s healthy development.
Seizing opportunities that increase revenues and enhance the Museum’s image.
Thanks to the Rhode Island Foundation for this wonderful honor!
Discover Floating Fantasies, the newest display featuring the Museum’s
collection of historic Betty Huestis marionettes. Creator Ashley Moore,
an AmeriCorps Museum Educator, described her scene as “a lilypad
wonderland… fun, fanciful and kind of dreamlike.”
“When I was a kid, I really liked fairy tales and anything fanciful, so I
wanted to bring that to life,” said Ashley. See a ballerina dance for
an audience of bullfrogs, a leprechaun with a pot of gold at the end of
the rainbow, a father and daughter fishing from a raft and more, plus
scan the pond for long lost treasures.
Floating Fantasies is on view until
August – take a peek on your next visit!
On Wednesday, the Corporation for National and Community
Service (CNCS) announced $205 million in grants to fund 288 AmeriCorps
programs and the service of 43,000 AmeriCorps members nationally. Providence Children’s Museum is one of only two organizations in Rhode
Island to receive full federal funding in the highly competitive 2014
The Museum’s program was awarded a 3-year
grant and will receive $159,600 annually from the CNCS for 12 full-time
AmeriCorps members. The Museum has been an AmeriCorps site since 1997
and has served over 20,000 children through innovative outreach to
inner-city schools, community centers and Head Start programs. With
this funding, the Museum will welcome its 19th AmeriCorps team in the
Designed to help close the achievement gap between advantaged
and disadvantaged children, the Museum’s AmeriCorps program provides
stimulating interactive learning experiences not available to most
low-income children. Under the guidance of Museum education staff,
AmeriCorps members work to inspire a lifetime love of learning,
providing enriched learning experiences for all greater Providence Head
Start preschoolers and conducting Learning Clubs for inner-city
The Museum’s 2014-15 AmeriCorps members will:
Implement engaging play-based classroom activities that
encourage problem solving in all 56 Children’s Friend Head Start
classrooms, serving 1,000 3- to 5-year-olds and supporting Head Start’s
goal of improving school readiness.
Guide Head Start children on classroom field trips to the Museum for hands-on play and learning.
Deliver Learning Clubs – hands-on STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics) enrichment activities with a focus on math
– for 200 low-income 2nd-4th graders in after-school and summer
programs at the Boys & Girls Club and Highlander Charter School in
Support recess by facilitating play-based activities at Highlander Charter School and Mary E. Fogarty Elementary School.
Welcome all Head Start and Learning Club program
participants and their families to Family Nights at the Children’s
Museum, where they receive free year-long Museum passes.
“Bringing hands-on fun and learning to thousands of disadvantaged kids
each year, AmeriCorps greatly increases the Museum’s capacity to serve
families who need it most,” said Museum Executive Director Janice
Click here for more information about the Museum’s AmeriCorps program.
Federal funding from the Corporation for National and Community
Service must be matched by private support. The Museum’s AmeriCorps
program is also supported by Serve Rhode Island and currently receives
additional funding from Amgen Foundation; Bristol County Savings
Charitable Foundation; The John Clarke Trust, Bank of America, N.A.,
Co-Trustee; Cox Charities of New England Fund; CVS Caremark Charity
Classic; Frank B. Hazard General Charity Fund, Bank of America, N.A.,
Trustee; Sovereign Bank Foundation; Textron Charitable Trust;
UnitedHealthcare of New England; and donors to the Museum's Annual
On Tuesday evening, Museum Board members, staff, volunteers and friends celebrated the accomplishments of 2013 and the importance of learning through play at our annual meeting. Did you know that in 2013, Providence Children’s Museum:
Welcomed a record 166,227 visitors, 29% free of charge.
Brought engaging hands-on activities to over 1,000 Head Start preschoolers and 600 school-age kids through after-school and summer programs at inner-city community centers.
Hosted 1,350 low-income children and their family members at free Museum family nights.
Took open-ended, creative play experiences to 930 kids and family members in neighborhood parks across Providence.
Conducted therapeutic visits for 530 children and parents in nearly 200 court-separated families.
Provided 400 charitable memberships to children and families in need.
And MUCH more! Download our 2013 Annual Report to get the full story, and take a look back at some of last year's highlights, in words and photos: