Providence Children’s Museum was named one of five organizations in Rhode Island to receive competitive federal funding for its AmeriCorps program, and one of only 53 funded nationally.
Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Governor Chafee announced the five Rhode Island AmeriCorps grants — totaling $1,249,738 — by the Corporation for National and Community Service and funded through the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.Â Providence Children’s Museum received $170,910 for 16 full- and part-time AmeriCorps members. The Museum has been an AmeriCorps site since 1997 and, with this funding, will welcome its 15th AmeriCorps team
Designed to help close the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children, the Children’s Museum’s AmeriCorps program provides stimulating hands-on learning experiences not available to most low-income children and inspires a lifetime love of learning.Â Museum AmeriCorps members provide engaging enrichment programs for children in three of the state’s poorest cities — Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls — through these programs:
- Learning Clubs provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) enrichment activities with a focus on math for 500 low-income elementary children in after-school and summer programs at inner-city community centers.
- Learning Club members and their families attend Family Nights at the Museum and receive free year-long Museum passes.
- Members also deliver professional development workshops for after-school and summer childcare staff at more than a dozen community organizations.
Head Start/Good Start
- Museum AmeriCorps members implement classroom activities in all 50 Children’s Friend Head Start classrooms to support Head Start’s goal of improving school readiness, serving nearly 1,000 three to five-year-olds.Â They welcome all Head Start children as they visit the Museum with their classes for hands-on play and learning.
- Head Start children and their families attend Family Nights at the Museum and receive free year-long Museum passes.
- Members also develop and deliver resource packets and teacher workshops to support the Head Start teaching staff of 100.
Through its AmeriCorps program, the Museum works with community partners including: Boys & Girls Clubs of Providence; Children’s Friend Head Start; Federal Hill House; John Hope Settlement House; Joslin Community Center; Mary E. Fogarty Elementary School; Pawtucket COZ; Sackett Street Recreation Center; Silverlake Community Center; South Providence Neighborhood Ministries; The Learning Community Charter School; and West End Community Center.
Federal funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service must be matched by private support.Â The Museum’s AmeriCorps program receives additional support from Amgen Foundation, The Hassenfeld Foundation, Frank B. Hazard General Charity Fund, The Providence Shelter, C. R. Bard Foundation, Inc. and Cox Charities of New England Fund and donors to the Museum’s Annual Campaign.