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Columbia Business Monthly

EdVenture Children’s Museum Receives Federal Funding

Nov 09, 2018 12:39PM ● By Kathleen Maris
EdVenture Children’s Museum has been awarded two federal grants totaling $397,493 from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in support of its statewide early education and youth development programs. Currently celebrating its 15th anniversary, EdVenture is one of only a handful of institutions to receive multi-project funding from IMLS this year.

Through the Community Catalyst Initiative award, EdVenture will act as a backbone collective impact organization in a two-year community-centered effort to identify local assets, bring together a unique cross-section of city stakeholders, and develop a locally-driven plan that addresses the pressing and interrelated issues of youth development and gang activity in Hartsville, S.C.

In collaboration with the City of Hartsville and local leaders in education, clergy, and public safety, EdVenture staff will work to design a collective youth development and anti-gang strategy in Hartsville and a plan for youth development and anti-gang programs that embraces collective impact approaches, including collectively derived data, outcomes, and reporting. Input from youth participants in EdVenture’s Future Leaders program at Hartsville Middle School will also be included in the project.

Recognizing that successful educational outcomes often rely on early life events, EdVenture will also launch the Readiness Alignment Project (RAP) in Colleton County to improve early learning and increase family engagement around early literacy and health education through the Museums for America award.

In response to community needs assessments, and in close partnership with Colleton County First Steps and Colleton County School District, the museum will coordinate professional learning for 24 educators through a series of classroom enrichment programs and early learning conferences at the museum; quarterly family engagement nights that include dinner, standards-based educational programs for children, and programs for caregivers that cover health, nutrition, and student educational milestones; and inquiry-and standards-based instruction led by the museum's early childhood educators in 12 participating classrooms and at the museum during a spring field study experience.

“EdVenture could not be more honored to receive not just one, but two IMLS grants, to build upon the important work we do in our state,” says Nikki Williams Hill, executive vice president of EdVenture. “I can think of no better way to commemorate our 15th anniversary from a mission standpoint than by starting these projects that will impact the lives of children, youth, and caregivers across South Carolina for years to come.”
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