Our philosophy starts with the simple belief that kids are capable of incredible things. Our job is to nurture that ability; our goal is to support kids' healthy development. Play is how kids learn--here, it is in both a STEM-rich environment and inviting outdoor experience.
Access for All: Open Door Connections
It is an essential part of our mission to never turn away an individual or group for any reason, and to partner with community organizations to seek out underserved audiences and find ways to help them access the museums and our programs.
Fun for everyone
The Discovery Museums' Open Door Connections (ODC) program supports innovative hands-on learning and meaningful play experiences for all. We strive to provide opportunities for those who face a variety of barriers—financial, developmental, or cultural—to experience the museums.
Partnering to Grow Access Opportunities
Through Open Door Connections, we work to broaden the depth and reach of museum offerings by working directly with partner organizations so we can better identify families and schools with need and engage them in all that the Museums have to offer. We work with organizations including SMOC Head Start Hudson, SMOC Head Start Marlborough, The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE), Parent Child Home Program, Horizons for Homeless Children and Minute Man Arc Social Services, Inc. of Concord. Our objective is for all members of the community to feel a part of the Museums.
How are we doing?
It is important to us to try engage parents, caregivers, students and educators who might otherwise not have access to our museums, school programs, and trainings. Each year we set a goal for the number of individuals the Museums will serve at free or deeply reduced cost with programs, events or special discounts aimed at reducing roadblocks to visiting. And, each year we have exceeded our goal! The numbers:
2016 Goal: 45,000
2015 Goal: 43,500; number served: 44,308
2014 Goal: 41,500; number served: 42,867
2013 Goal: 39,000; number served: 40,431
2012 Goal: 37,500; number served: 38,671
2011 Goal: 30,000; number served: 35,204
ODC events include the Especially for Me program series, which offers free evening for families with children on the autism spectrum in conjunction with the Autism Alliance of MetroWest; free mornings and evenings for families of children who are deaf or experience hearing loss, offered in conjunction with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program of Children's Hospital Boston; and free evenings for families with children with vision loss, offered with the support of Perkins School for the Blind.
ODC is also affiliated with Acre Family Child Care in Lowell, MA, offering free educational activites for the family child care children, professional development workshops for the family child care providers, and an annual family night at The Discovery Museums.
We also work closely with schools to ensure that financial constaints are not a barrier for learning hands-on math and science. Every year we provide free and discounted programs to schools in need, including Field Trips to the museums and Traveling Science Workshops in PreK-8th grade classrooms.
If you are an organization that would like to work with The Discovery Museums around Open Door Connections, please email Alli Leake or call (978)-264-4200 ext. 28. We would love to hear from you.