In December 2011, Massachusetts was one of nine states to win a federal Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant (RTTT-ELC grant) to spur innovation in statewide systems of education. The Early Learning Challenge was designed to close the achievement gap for high needs children and to ensure that all children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
Boston Children’s Museum was selected by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care to implement a statewide strategy to bolster the capacity of museums and libraries to collaborate in their local communities by offering more support and resources for STEM activities, a focus on kindergarten readiness, early literacy programming, and participation in the state’s Brain Building in Progress campaign.
Between 2011 and 2015, the RTTT-ELC grant led by Jeri Robinson, Vice President of Early Childhood Initiatives and Beth Fredericks, Director Museums/Libraries Project produced the Massachusetts Museums/Libraries Network. It is comprised of 56 libraries and 49 museums across the state. Museums participating range from our own 100 year old Boston Children’s Museum to the brand-new Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River. Historical museums range from Historic New England that represents 36 historic properties to the Beverly Historical Society with 3 houses. Science museums including the Museum of Science in Boston are participating, as is Zoo New England and the Harvard Museum of Natural History. The Museum of Fine Art in Boston, as well as Springfield Museum, Cape Ann Museum, Peabody Essex Museum, and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art are also participants.
As our nation commits to early learning as a national priority essential to our economic and civic future, Massachusetts has become intentional about deploying museums and libraries to play a vital role in early learning for all children and families.
All of the materials contained in this website were produced by Boston Children’s Museum with Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant funding. The Museums/Libraries Project was overseen by the Department of Early Education and Care. Materials are downloadable and free to use without any formal permission of these organizations.