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Springfield Museums Distributing 495 Literacy Activity Kits to Children

SPRINGFIELD — Thanks to funding from MEFA and the U.Fund College Investing Plan, Springfield Museums are distributing 495 literacy activity kits to children throughout Springfield and beyond. Ten programs — including the Gray House, Home City Families, Raising a Reader, and Head Start — will benefit.

The literacy activity kits contain a consumable activity, a reusable building toy, colored pencils, a Dr. Seuss clipboard, and an early-reader book: Dr. Seuss’s ABC. Family Engagement Coordinator Jenny Powers, who worked together with her team to assemble the kits, noted that “we wanted to offer activities that help build reading and science literacy which a child could engage on their own. We are hopeful the kits will help provide caregivers with time to prepare other activities or take a short break.”

With new COVID-19 protocols in mind, Powers’ team provided an activity kit that a child can use on their own, in their own space. “Since each child has the same materials, they can talk about what they are doing with each other, without needing to share.”

Springfield Museums are committed to helping children and their caregivers explore literacy in its many forms — literary, science, historical, art — while also having fun.

“We come from a city that brought us Milton Bradley and Dr. Seuss, who both believed in the power of learning while playing,” said Larissa Murray, director of Education. “Entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, writers, thinkers throughout our history have explored myriad ways to become literate — able to communicate fluently in a variety of disciplines — and we are excited to help continue that exploration.”

The museums have tripled their hands-on learning spaces over the past few years. The Art Discovery Center, the Cat’s Corner, and Spark!Lab are all spaces for people to engage in hands-on learning to gain skills and build competency in a variety of subjects. Since the onset of the pandemic, the museums also worked to share activity kits so that those unable to visit in person could still have access to learning.

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