Friday, January 13, 2012

Reaching Out to Children in Need

Since 1997, Providence Children's Museum has been an AmeriCorps site, committed to training a team of educators to bring engaging play-based activities to children whose exposure to rich learning experiences is limited. MuseumCorps – the Museum’s AmeriCorps program – has served nearly 20,000 children through innovative outreach to inner-city community centers and Head Start programs.

Our newest 12-member MuseumCorps team began in the fall and has been hard at work serving some of the poorest neighborhoods in Providence, Central Falls and Pawtucket through these programs:
  • MuseumCorps members lead inspiring hands-on activities in 58 Children’s Friend Head Start classrooms to help improve school readiness for 1,000 preschool children. 
  • Through Learning Clubs, members provide engaging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) enrichment activities for 500 low-income elementary children at over a dozen community center after-school and summer programs. 
  • New this year: To deepen engagement with the neighborhood in the Museum’s backyard, MuseumCorps members are a daily presence after school at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence South Side Clubhouse. Students from Mary E. Fogarty Elementary School and other neighborhood children participate in playful STEM activities in a Museum-dedicated space. 
Members welcome program participants to explore the Museum during field trips and family nights, and to sign up for free year-long family passes.  They also facilitate play and learning for Museum visitors in exhibits and programs and recruit and coordinate Museum volunteers.

Meet the team:
 Left to right: Front - Rebecca Gormley, Ann Kerrin, Stacy Greenberg, Meagan Amylon
Middle - Andy Axel, Suzie Doogan, Sarah Bonawitz, Abbey Jones
Back - Ryan Queenan, John Rossi, Kassie Edwards, Leah Paladino
Members with Mayor Angel Taveras at a Head Start family night.

The Museum’s AmeriCorps program is made possible by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service and Serve Rhode Island with support from additional sponsors.

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