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Long Island Children's Museum

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Outdoor Exhibit Space at LI Children's Museum Serves as Green Model

The Long Island Children’s Museum’s “innovative use of green space” has been cited as a national model; earning praise for its “potential to change parents’ perceptions and increase children’s outdoor play across the country.” The Museum has received funding to develop an online replication toolkit by the MetLife Foundation and the Association of Children’s Museums.

Garden City, NY, June 12, 2009 --( The theme of the 2009 Association of Children’s Museums Conference, Declare Your Impact had great resonance for the Long Island Children’s Museum. The Garden City-based museum’s 3,700-square-foot outdoor exhibit space was honored as a “model for other children’s museums” when it received the 2009 Promising Practice Replication Award.

Granted annually by the MetLife Foundation and Association of Children’s Museums, the award provides a $10,000 grant to develop an online toolkit to inspire children’s museums across the country to develop similar museum-tested, award-winning programs.

“The Museum’s exhibit and program development for Our Backyard has been met with wonderful response from our visitors and local community groups,” noted LICM Executive Director Suzanne LeBlanc. “We are delighted that the ‘gateway to nature’ that we have created and the experience that we have accumulated will be available to assist others in their efforts to connect children with nature.”

In announcing the award before an international audience of museum professionals, Rohit Burman, Program Manager, Culture & Public Broadcasting, MetLife Foundation praised the exhibit’s “innovative use of green space” that extends the Museum’s indoor exhibitions to the outdoors. “The potential to change parents’ perceptions and increase children’s outdoor play across the country by developing similar exhibits and programs at other museums will be a hopeful and practical outcome when the LICM replication toolkit is unveiled in Spring 2010,” noted Burman

The Long Island Children’s Museum will devote a section of its web site to the tool kit to provide museum professionals and other interested community groups with detailed information on various ways that they can encourage children to explore natural phenomenon. The web site will offer suggestions that take into mind the range of budget commitments groups may have at their disposal. This approach will follow the timeline implemented by LICM in the multi-year development of the award-winning space; from a $200 budget to dedicated full-time staff and multiple funding sources.

The MetLife Foundation and Association of Children’s Museums Promising Practice Award was established in 1999. It provides encouragement and recognition for children’s museums to develop programs that are inclusive, meet community needs, support community partnerships and promote lifelong learning. The Promising Practice Replication Award was launched in 2004.

About the MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was established by MetLife to continue the company’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. The Foundation supports programs that improve education, promote health, encourage parental involvement and family engagement, help revitalize neighborhoods and stress accessibility and inclusion. The Foundation supports museums across the country because of the important role they play in educating people of all ages and the valuable resources they provide for schools and communities.

About the Association of Children’s Museums
ACM is a professional service organization for children’s museums around the world. Founded in 1962 as a support group for directors of children’s museums in the United States, ACM’s mission is to build the capacity of children’s museums to serve as town squares where play inspires creativity and lifelong learning. Children’s museums are vital community institutions that impact the way children play and learn about the world around them. Over the last 15 years, the number of children’s museums in the United States has grown by 100 percent, reaching more than 31 million children and families in 2007.

About the Long Island Children’s Museum
Artfully housed in a former airplane hangar at historic Mitchel Field, the award-winning Long Island Children’s Museum is a creative, innovative and inspiring destination for children and their grownups. 44,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor exhibits, a state-of-the-art theater and three learning studios await visitors. A private, not-for-profit institution chartered by the New York State Board of Regents, the Long Island Children’s Museum (LICM) has been voted one of the “Top 20 Children’s Museums” and “LI’s Best Cultural Attraction to Support.”

Contact Information
Long Island Children's Museum
Maureen P. Mangan

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