Boston Children's Museum is one of the oldest and largest children's museums in the world, pioneering hands-on exhibitions and visitor-focused experiences that put children in charge of their own learning. It first opened its doors in 1913. Today, the Museum is partnering across the community to address school achievement gaps that disproportionately affect Boston's black and Hispanic children and strengthening STEM - science, technology, engineering, and math - programming.
"Museums and libraries serve as centers for lifelong learning and as cornerstones for our communities. Boston Children's Museum has been a place for children and families to explore, to learn, to play, and to dream for 100 years, and we are very proud to name Boston Children's Museum one of this year's National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners," said Susan Hildreth, director, Institute of Museum and Library Services. "This year's National Medal recipients demonstrate the many ways museums and libraries alike build strong communities. These institutions are educating, inspiring, and leading lifelong learning while serving as community anchors."
"We are thrilled to receive the National Medal, and especially pleased to do so in our Centennial year. As the only Boston museum defined by its audience - children and families - our spaces connect the stories of parents and teachers, grandparents and teens, policymakers and innovators. For 100 years, we have advocated for the enduring value of play, and its link to the mental, physical, and emotional health of children," said Carole Charnow, president & CEO of Boston Children's Museum. "Our multi-faceted exhibits and programs introduce children and families to transformational experiences and new ideas in science and technology, health and wellness, arts and humanities, and global cultures. We are grateful to the IMLS for this distinguished award and look forward to building upon our legacy by continuing to promote the health and education of all children so that they will reach their full potential and contribute to our collective wellbeing."
Sixteen-year-old Tayquan Pomare-Taylor, a BNY Mellon CityACCESS Teen Ambassador whose own academic achievement has been positively influenced by the Museum, will travel to Washington and share the impact Boston Children's Museum has had on his life during the May 8 celebration.
This year's honorees exemplify the nation's great diversity of libraries and museums and include a science center, children's museum, music museum, art museum, cultural museum, public libraries, and county library systems, hailing from seven states. Earlier this year, 33 institutions were announced as finalists for the National Medal, and community members were encouraged to share their stories about their experiences on the IMLS Facebook page.
Medal winners were selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. After the ceremony, StoryCorps - a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans - will visit Boston Children's Museum to document stories from the community.
National Medal Winners 2013:
- Boston Children's Museum, Boston, Mass.
- Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio
- Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, Miss.
- Discovery Science Center, Santa Ana, Calif.
- Marshalltown Public Library, Marshalltown, Iowa
- National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Pierce County Library System, Tacoma, Wash.
- Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Rancho Cucamonga Public Library, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
- Waukegan Public Library, Waukegan, Ill.
To learn more about the National Medal winners, please visit www.imls.gov/medals.