By Eleanor Greene
You wouldn’t know it by the classrooms full of smiling kids, but at the Long Island Children’s Museum, in Garden City, N.Y., kindergarten is serious business. Community member Francisco Quijada was looking for a program to help his kids adjust to school and was pleased to find Juntos al Kinder/Together to Kindergarten at the museum. The program teaches English, social skills, and basic academic skills like writing to Latino and Haitian children in the area. The bilingual summer class also has a supplemental course for parents—taught in their language of origin—about American school systems so they can help support their children’s education. In this video, museum president Suzanne LeBlanc emphasizes the importance of making the museum accessible to a wide range of children and their families who come from all over the island. LeBlanc hopes that the museum can continue to grow with the community and provide programming that can help all families be happy, healthy, and successful.
The Long Island Children’s Museum was one of 10 winners of the 2012 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for libraries and museums that are serving their communities in exceptional ways. Winners for the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service will be announced on April 23, 2013.