Last week, the First Lady presented the National Medal for Museum and Library Service to ten libraries and museums for their outstanding service to their communities. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries. Two of the winning museums, Amazement Square and the Louisiana Children’s Museum, are participating in Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens. These museums are working to build stronger communities, one family at a time.
“Our honorees are doing everything from preparing young people for college, helping entrepreneurs build their businesses, supporting veterans as they transition from military to civilian life, to providing financial literacy and nutrition workshops for parents.” – First Lady Michelle Obama
Amazement Square in Lynchburg, VA, is a hands-on museum with a focus on creating unique learning experiences with lasting impacts on the lives of children and their families, sparking their imaginations, creativity and curiosity.
Children ages 13 and under get moving in downtown Lynchburg by participating in the Amazing Mile Children’s Run. Held in conjunction with the Genworth Virginia 10 Miler, kids of all skill levels can participate in a one-mile, half-mile, or quarter-mile run.
Opening on June 1, 2015, The League of Healthy Heroes Exhibition where children and their families journey through the exhibition to fight back against three villains – Sofablix, Junk Monster, and Screen Blob – who offer unhealthy choices, such as junk food, sedentary TV-watching, and ways to avoid exercise. On the way, children and their families will complete a series of challenges to defeat the villains, gaining strategies to counteract them, such as eating fruit, riding bikes, playing outdoor games, cooking with family, drinking water, eating smaller portions, taking the stairs, and more.
The Louisiana Children’s Museum in New Orleans, LA, offers interactive exhibits and educational programs that encourage learning through play. The Museum is working to build a stronger community by fostering the healthy development of children and strengthening the connections between the child and the family, and the child and the community.
When Kanitra Charles, a single mother of four, won a yearlong membership to Louisiana Children’s Museum, she enrolled in the museum’s Eat, Sleep, Play and Word Play family programs, as well as a 20-week parenting course. The programs introduced Kanitra and her children to learning, literacy, and healthy eating concepts that changed their home life. She now prepares healthier snacks for her children instead of junk food and reads with them using books from the class.
Museums of all types, from children’s museums and public gardens to zoos, science centers, and art and history museums, are answering the First Lady’s call to action by providing exhibits, programming, and food service that focuses on healthy eating and physical activity. See a list of museums that have already made the commitment. Is your local museum or garden participating in this initiative? Sign up; it’s easy. To learn more about Let’s Move!Museums and Gardens, click here.