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Providence Children’s Museum mostly closed but offering virtual events

In response to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Providence Children’s Museum will shift most of its programming online with limited in person experiences. The exhibits will be closed to the public beginning on January 14, 2021, and reopen on July 8, 2021.

Although the Museum exhibit space will be closed to the public through June, play sessions will be available during school vacation weeks beginning in February. In addition, organizations and individuals may rent portions of the museum for private playtime or birthday parties. PCM will also continue to promote monthly take-home kits available for families to engage in play-based activities at home.

PCM members and friends can still access frequent innovative and enriching programming, including virtual classes, free of charge through its social media channels (see end of article for links) and website at www.providencechildrensmuseum.org.

Since October 1, PCM has been open in a limited fashion with time slots for 50 guests on
Thursdays through Sundays. This is dramatically different than the typical 7-day a week capacity of 700-1,200 visitors a day. Restricting public access will provide PCM with the ability to focus on digital programming, community outreach, and key partnerships.

“PCM will continue to provide enriching programming across multiple channels; we are still
supporting the children and families of Rhode Island,” says Executive Director Caroline Payson.
“We are excited to expand our relationships with key partners such as Rhode Island Department
of Education (RIDE) through the All Course Network (ACN) and teacher training and curriculum
development project.”

Through a RethinkRI federal grant, RIDE will expand ACN classes to include children in
elementary and middle school. PCM is proud to be offering courses for children in K-5
beginning in both February and April which will use its expertise in play and creativity, including PCM Design Challenges, PCM Maker Studio, and Traditional American Music & Dance with PCM
Guest Musician Aubrey Atwater. All after school enrichment classes are offered free of charge for
Rhode Island public school students.

In addition to the partnership with RIDE through ACN, PCM will be introducing a curriculum
training program for RIDE educators. Over the next 6 months, PCM will work with educators to
create play and standards-based lesson plans for use by educators and available to parents
through the PCM website.

“This partnership with RIDE is a critical next step in our ability to reach more children in Rhode
Island,” says Director of Education Kristin Read. “We know the importance of providing engaging, child-directed, and play-based learning opportunities within our building. Now we can reach young students across the state through the curriculum project and the Advanced Course Network. These opportunities reinforce the importance of developmentally appropriate
experiences for young learners and its impact on creating lifetime learners.”

“These are unprecedented times. It is our responsibility to inspire joy without encumbering the
Museum,” says Marty Roberts, Chair of the Board. “It’s a balance but we know the museum will
be in a better position because of the decisions that are being made now.”

The Providence Children’s Museum serves children and adults of all backgrounds and from all
communities. Its focus is on children, ages 1 to 11, and the adults who care for them by
presenting hands-on, play-based exhibits and programs that explore arts, culture and science,
technology, engineering and math.

For up to the minute information, check out PCM’s website,  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

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