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Children’s Museum Receives Grant to Bring STEAM to Hartford’s Latinx Children

Grant from Latino Endowment Fund at the Hartford Foundation to Provide Programs for 800 Children at Institute for the Hispanic Family

Many Connecticut children are fortunate to have easy access to a wide variety of fun learning opportunities such as visiting museums and attending summer camps. However, for many of our children and their families, getting to such programs is a formidable barrier. For the past three years, The Children’s Museum (TCM) has been working to develop and embed STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math)-based learning opportunities in places they already visit, such as the Institute for the Hispanic Family and Hartford Public Library, among others.

In 2019, TCM’s efforts inspired the launch of a three-year project called “Bringing STEAM to Hartford Neighborhoods.” With support from the Hartford Foundation, Pratt and Whitney and others, children and their caregivers participated in programs at the Institute for the Hispanic Family, two other Hartford family centers and six Hartford library branches. At its first event, TCM used its STARLAB portable planetarium to connect approximately 200 children with other cultures’ views of the constellations.

To increase access to STEAM experiences for 800 Hartford Latinx children, the Latino Endowment Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has awarded The Children’s Museum a one-year, $20,000 grant to support its “Bringing STEAM to Hartford Latinx Children & Families” program.

“We firmly believe that this generous grant will not only help to fund quality STEAM programs, but will allow Hartford children to learn in a way that will benefit them immeasurably,” said TCM Executive Director Mike Werle. “By being in their own communities and with their families, they can see that STEAM learning is all around them, accessible, and within their reach. This grant is about more than just building programs; it’s about them building their future.”

These fun, free activities will provide STEAM-based programs to 3-14 year-old children and caregivers at the Institute for the Hispanic Family. The half-day events will happen on three Saturdays in the fall, winter and spring, followed by a fourth capstone field trip to The Children’s Museum in West Hartford.

The program is a collaboration between The Children’s Museum, Catholic Charities, the Hartford Public Library and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. It employs best practices focused on delivering high quality learning programs directly to young children and their caregivers in their neighborhoods.

The Latino Endowment Fund was founded in 2003 by Latinx leaders in Greater Hartford to increase philanthropy in their community and to strengthen nonprofits working to improve the quality of life for Latino residents. Members examine issues affecting the Latino community and recommend grants from the fund to address those issues.

“The Latino Endowment Fund has long supported efforts to provide educational opportunities for Latino youth and their families in Greater Hartford,” said Moraima Gutierrez, chair of the Latino Endowment Fund steering committee. “The Children’s Museum has extensive experience in creating STEAM programming for young children. The Hispanic Family has deep connections to the neighborhood.  Together, they have solved the problem of connecting children to experience."

For more information about the Latino Endowment Fund, contact Deborah Rothstein at 860-548-1888 or DRothstein@hfpg.org or go to www.hfpg.org/latino.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $750 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888

 


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