July 19, 2013

The Hall Connects Kids to Science Through Local Libraries

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19 July 2013 – Berkeley, CA: The Lawrence Hall of Science partners with libraries to connect families from many different backgrounds to science. Through Discover & Go, a service provided to library cardholders at participating libraries in the Bay Area, families can obtain free or discounted passes to local museums and cultural institutions to expand their learning experiences. The Discover & Go museum network is managed by the Contra Costa County Library, but is available across Northern California. In 2012 more than 1,100 Discover & Go passes to the Lawrence Hall of Science were checked out through the system.

Discover & Go is just one of the many ways that libraries and museums partner to enhance the opportunities that children and families get to enjoy enriching experiences around the Bay Area. “A young man (age 11) held up his library card at the self-check and announced, ‘My mother has given me a powerful weapon!’,” shared Jacquelyn Higgins, a library staff member, who added that after witnessing this moving moment “The Antioch Library staff’s day was made.”

The Lawrence Hall of Science delivers fun learning opportunities across a broad range of ages and abilities, often providing young people with some of their first and perhaps most critical introductions to science. Heather Parke, a participant in the Discover & Go program, commented about the benefits of this service, “We had an incredible journey of learning at the Lawrence Hall of Science! What an engaging day! Thank you, ‘Discover & Go,’ for such a great opportunity.” Heather is not the only one who has taken advantage of this program. Another Discover & Go user stated, “This is such a fantastic program, and we’ve really enjoyed using our Discover & Go benefits to see museums around the Bay Area. My son loved the Lawrence Hall of Science so much that we just purchased a year’s membership. Without Discover & Go, we would likely not have ventured out to the Lawrence Hall of Science on multiple occasions and developed a love for the place and location. Thank you again for a great program.”

This year, a sponsorship from the ScholarShare College Savings Plan, a tax-advantaged way for families to save for college, is helping to make the Hall’s participation in library programs possible. “ScholarShare has been a Hall supporter for the last three years, and they are a wonderful partner,” said Janet Noe, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Hall. “Our organizations have a shared goal of providing all children with the opportunity to learn and pursue their interests. Participating in the Discover & Go and Summer Reading Program helps us do that.”

In addition to participating in the Discover & Go program, the Lawrence Hall of Science offers library classes, where young scientists can observe and hold animals and learn about their life cycles; Summer Reading Program passes, rewarding children who complete a summer reading goal with a free youth pass to visit the Hall; and Check Out Science, which consists of science kits that families can take out from their local library to do fun experiments that combine literacy and hands-on science, using books from the Hall’s Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading curriculum program.

Families can have fun and learn more about programs like Discover & Go at the upcoming celebration of Contra Costa Libraries’ 100th anniversary. This will be a large, free outdoor celebration in Pleasant Hill on Sunday, July 21, 2013, at Pleasant Hill Park on Gregory Lane from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. There will be lots to do, including fun science activities from the Lawrence Hall of Science.

About Contra Costa County Library
The Contra Costa County Library is a public library system that is part of Contra Costa County, California. It consists of 26 community branches offering programs for children, teens, adults, and families, including access to electronic information via a website. Its headquarters are in Pleasant Hill. For library hours and updated information, please visit www.ccclib.org.