Hever, Executive Director of the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum & Learning Center in Boynton Beach will travel to the nation’s capital February 27-28 to make the case for museums with the Florida congressional delegation. She will be one of more than 300 museum professionals from across the country who will participate in Museums Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, an annual event orchestrated by the American Association of Museums (AAM).
According Hever she and her fellow amateur lobbyists will be exercising a right guaranteed by the Constitution -- petitioning the government about issues of concern.
"I am anxious to get to Washington to let our elected leaders know how museums are vital to communities everywhere -- particularly right here in South Florida,” Hever said. “Museums are essential elements in America’s educational infrastructure. They are economic engines, generating valuable tax dollars for local government coffers, and they are centers of lifelong learning. For these and many other reasons, museums merit strong federal support.”
Hever also cited the more than 25 weekly program offerings the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum brings to South Florida residents and visitors, many of which are free with paid admission to the Museum.
“The Schoolhouse takes great pride in the quality of our classes and workshops, as well as the affordability and diversity of these programs,” Hever said. “The community asked, and we are trying to deliver an incredibly diverse series of activities from exploration in astronomy and archeology, to lessons on social etiquette and discoveries in material art.
Children’s museums also have a distinct economic impact on their communities, according to Hever.
”We contribute more than $500,000 to the local economy and educate more than 23,000 people annually. It is because of a wide range of support from individuals, corporations, foundations and government support that we may provide this level of service.”
This is emblematic of what museums contribute to communities nationally. According to AAM, museums invest more than $2 billion annually in education programs, and welcome about 55 million schoolchildren each year. A study by the U.S. Council of Mayors reported that, for every tax dollar invested in museums, $7 is returned to local governments. Another study by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services found that museums ─ along with libraries ─ are the information sources most trusted by the American people.
Hever will be sharing these and other facts about museums with Florida federal representatives.
“In these times of tightening budgets, it is more important ever that museums share with Congress the value we bring to communities everywhere,”
Ford W. Bell, President of the American Association of Museums (AAM) looks forward to working with all museum directors, including Hever, and emphasizing the impact the
Schoolhouse has had on the South Florida community.
“We are privileged that Hever will be joining us for Museums Advocacy Day,” Ford said. “The work that the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum has done in Boynton Beach is extraordinary, and the state’s Congressional delegation needs to hear about the critical contribution the museum is making to the community.”
About the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum & Learning Center:
Established in 2001 and recently nominated for the 2012 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum & Learning Center engages young children in playful discovery through hands-on, interactive, learning environments that integrate the arts, humanities and sciences in a quaint historical setting.
The Schoolhouse is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission prices are $4 for children ages 1 - 17, $4.50 for seniors, and $5 for adults. Members and children under 1 are free. The Schoolhouse is located at 129 East Ocean Avenue in downtown Boynton Beach. For more information please visit www.schoolhousemuseum.org, or call (561) 742-6780.
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Experience South Florida's history through 2 floors of hands-on, interactive exhibits for ages 2-12. Learn art, music, the sciences and more through educational programs and special events. Membership and birthday party packages are also available.