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Madison Community Foundation funds K-12 science programs at Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

July 12, 2012

During the next year, kids and their families will be able to enjoy six new ways to experience hands-on science at the Town Center of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

The Madison Community Foundation (MCF) has awarded the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) a $30,000 grant to create six new learning modules intended to connect youth and their families to science at UW–Madison and the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.

“This grant leverages key partnerships that we have been establishing with the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County and Madison Children’s Museum,” says Laura Heisler, director of programming for WARF.

“We will ensure these new modules are engaging for kids because kids are part of our process for developing the modules. We will work directly with youngsters at the Boys and Girls Club to create the activities.” The activity modules, which will be valuable for field trips, drop-in visits and informal education programs at the Town Center and Madison Children’s Museum, will be adaptable for a range of ages – from kindergarten through high school.

MCF encourages, facilitates and manages long-term philanthropy. It was established in 1942 as a tax-exempt community trust and is governed by a Board of Governors representing the broad interests of the community.

Ruth Shelly, executive director of the Madison Children’s Museum, adds, “The generous funding from MCF strengthens the connection between Madison Children’s Museum’s family audience and cutting-edge science at UW–Madison. This is a perfect partnership with the university bringing great content and the children’s museum bringing expertise on how to translate that research into fun hands-on learning.”

Michael Johnson, chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, says, “We really want our kids to have an authentic and rich experience through this unique partnership with the University of Wisconsin. We are also thankful to MCF for supporting this pivotal program in conjunction with WARF. This opportunity will not only benefit our kids academically but culturally as well.”

“WARF is honored by this opportunity to move the vision and promise of the Town Center into reality-to find an immediate and impactful way for the community to experience and interact with science at UW–Madison,” says Heisler. “Enhancing the public’s understanding of science at the university is a key goal of the Town Center – now it is being made possible by MCF.”