Children’s Museum Tucson|Oro Valley received a $170,000 Museums for America grant that will be used to increase accessibility and outreach to underserved groups in Southern Arizona.
Aprendemos – an Equitable Approach to Learning (EAL) program – will include outreach and reduced-admission resource events for foster and refugee communities. The Museum will also translate existing programming into Spanish and create new multilingual activities to better serve communities that have not traditionally frequented the Museum.
It also offers professional development opportunities for Museum staff and teachers in Pima and Santa Cruz counties.
Community partners for Aprendemos include Planetary Science Institute; STEMAzing; UArizona College of Education Literacy, Learning and Leadership Program; Owl and Panther; and First Things First.
“Accessibility and Inclusion are the pillars that hold up the Museum’s mission of play-based education for our community,” said CMT |OV Executive Director Hilary Van Alsburg. “This program will position the Museum as a valuable educational resource in the communities that we don’t necessarily serve as well as we hope.”
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a national organization that supports innovation in U.S. museums and libraries, selected Children’s Museum Tucson|Oro Valley from among 631 grant applicants.
“As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities.”
Because of Covid-19 closures, the Museum will initiallypivot to include virtual programming, including virtual tours and outreach, as part of the Apremendos program.
“Once the Museum reopens to the in-person visitation we will welcome all visitors,” Van Alsburg said. “We can’t wait to welcome new friends into our Museum family!”
Children’s Museum Tucson serves more than 170,000 children and families annually who come to experience fun, hands-on learning through play. The exhibits, programs and special events invite the young and the young-at-heart to discover and explore the arts, sciences and humanities. Children’s Museum Oro Valley is designed for children ages 0-5 and provides exhibits and programs that stimulate curiosity and motivate learning. Children’s Museum Tucson |Oro Valley is a 501(c )(3) nonprofit.