PROVIDENCE – The Providence Children’s Museum has been awarded a three-year National and Community Service Grant from AmeriCorps program, and will receive $159,600 annually for 12 full-time AmeriCorps members.
The grant, awarded May 7, is part of CNCS awards totaling $205 million to fund 288 AmeriCorps programs and the service of 43,000 AmeriCorps members across the country.
The museum has been an AmeriCorps site since 1997, serving more than 20,000 children through outreach to urban schools, community centers and Head Start programs. The museum welcomes its 19th AmeriCorps team in the fall.
“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 O’Donnell.
The museum’s AmeriCorps program is designed to help close the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children by offering stimulating interactive learning experiences not available to most low-income children.
In 2014-15, AmeriCorps members at the museum will implement play-based classroom activities that encourage problem solving in all 56 Children’s Friend Head Start classrooms, and guide Head Start children on classroom field trips to the museum for hands-on play and learning, among other activities.
Federal funding from the grant must be matched by private support. The museum’s AmeriCorps program is also supported by Serve Rhode Island and currently receives additional funding from a wide array of donors.