5 Youth Science Centers To Share $1.46-Million Award

By Meg Sommerfeld — May 06, 1992 2 min read

The DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund has awarded $1.46 million to five children’s science centers and museums to expand their youth programs and to help other institutions launch similar efforts.

The Brooklyn (N.Y.) Children’s Museum, the New York Hall of Science in Queens, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and the Exploratorium in San Francisco each received $300,000 grants, and the Children’s Museum in Boston received $260,000. The grants, announced last month, will be disbursed over a three-year period.

This series of grants constitutes the first component of a new initiative by the fund, “Youth Achievement through Learning, Involvement, Volunteering & Employment,’' or YouthALIVE. The Association of Science-Technology Centers received a $4.7-million grant last summer from DeWitt Wallace to administer the three-part initiative.

The five winners named in late April, along with up to three additional museums to be named by the fund later this year, make up the initiative’s “leadership grant’’ component.

Recipients of the leadership grants will also play a role in the effort’s second component, by serving as “mentor museums’’ for a group of up to 30 institutions awarded grants of $25,000 to $75,000 each to expand existing programs or create new ones.

The third component of the initiative will be a series of technical-assistance grants. As many as 80 museums may be selected to receive grants of up to $3,000 to study successful program practices and plan new offerings.

‘Classrooms of the Future’

Several of the leadership-grant recipients will use their awards to finance internships and other volunteer opportunities for adolescents in their facilities, or to support youth-advisory councils that provide input to museum staff members organizing new exhibitions.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis will use its grant to support its museum-apprentice program. The museum’s 450 apprentices guide visitors through exhibitions, help care for animals in a natural-science gallery, and lead spelunkers through the museum’s indoor replica of a limestone cave, among other duties.

The grant will also help support the Indianapolis bureau of Children’s Express, a student-run news service based at the museum that publishes a weekly news page in The Indianapolis Star.

The Brooklyn Children’s Museum grant will be used to support “Kids Crew,’' an after-school education program for 1,500 children ages 7 to 18 and to provide stipends for eight teenage interns.

A version of this article appeared in the May 06, 1992 edition of Education Week as 5 Youth Science Centers To Share $1.46-Million Award