NORWALK, CT - Exposure to the world’s diverse cultures and customs provides priceless educational opportunities for our children. Through the museum’s highly-popular and award-winning Around the World programming, families can explore the world without leaving Norwalk through cultural programs brought to life. On Thursday, Stepping Stones Museum for Children is proud to announce the 12 Around the World “destinations” selected for each month of 2014. Frequent Around the World participants will be able to achieve “World Traveler” status and attend an exclusive end-of-the-year event in December 2014.
Since 2009, Stepping Stones has been transporting children and parents to 12 different parts of the world each year. Each month, museum guests get an extensive look at a different country’s customs through our engaging, interactive Around the World Performance Series events featuring youth performers and professional artists and musicians and our Around the World Creative Kids offering hands-on cultural craft activities. Throughout the month, the designated country is also represented on the museum’s walls with a map display and travel guide, in the Multimedia Gallery with a short film and interactive digital media floor games broadcast at various times each day and in the Family and Teacher Resource Center with the Around the World Bookshelf offering children’s books about the featured country. School vacation weeks are dedicated to Around the World programs and include special crafts, story times and activities.
From the program’s inception, participants have been receiving a keepsake Around the World “passport” that is stamped to keep track of each destination they have “visited.” Stepping Stones registers each child’s passport to keep track of his or her participation. If a child “visits” at least 6 countries during the year, he or she will receive “World Traveler” status and will be invited to the special World Travelers’ event in December 2014.
“Through our Around the World program, we’re looking to spark children’s curiosity, imagination and interest in the world beyond Connecticut,” said Hyla Crane, Director of Education at Stepping Stones Museum for Children. “Our local area is vibrant, historic and culturally rich, and we want to provide children and families living here with the opportunity to experience the richness of the world beyond our region. As technology and an interconnected economy shrink the globe, it is so important for children to have the opportunity to build the life skills required to be literate and responsible global citizens. The ability to respect and embrace diversity, appreciate different cultures and be knowledgeable about the history of different parts of the world will cultivate children’s global competency and help shape their future success.”
In 2011, Stepping Stones was rewarded for its passionate commitment to global awareness, media literacy and the latest technological advances when its Multimedia Global Connection Initiative earned the museum a prestigious Promising Practice Award from MetLife Foundation and the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM). This year, Stepping Stones was selected as the winner of the 2013 MetLife Foundation and ACM Promising Practice Replication Award. The award and its accompanying grant, which are given out annually to former Promising Practice Award recipients, will allow Stepping Stones to develop an online toolkit to encourage children’s museums to replicate this Multimedia Global Connections Initiative. Through its hands-on activities, live performances and interactive multimedia components, the Around the World series provides the museum’s context for its diverse, multicultural programming.
Experiencing the world’s diverse cultures can be enriching and rewarding. Come on down to Stepping Stones Museum for Children, immerse yourself in a different way of life, get your passport stamped and become a world traveler. Around the World programming is free with museum admission. Visit www.steppingstonesmuseum.org/ATW for more information. The Around the World program is sponsored in part by Gen Re.
2014 Around The World Performance Series Schedule:
January 18, 2014
Ballet Los Pampas – Argentina
February 15, 2014
Soro Bindi – Ghana
March 8, 2014
Inca Son – Peru
April 19, 2014
Kahana Hula – Samoa
May 3, 2014
Rossijanochka Folk Dance Troupe – Russia
June 21, 2014
Didgequest – Australia
July 26, 2014
Music and Dance of the Scottish Highlands – Scotland
August 16, 2014
Surcari – Chile
September (Date TBA)
Greek Mythology – Greece
October 25, 2014
The Catskill Puppet Theater presents The Lion’s Whiskers – Ethiopia
November 8, 2014
Shane Long – United States (Native Americans)
December 13, 2014
ABBA Girlz – Sweden
The 2014 Creative Kids programs will take place on the first Saturday of each month, unless otherwise noted. The Around the World programming schedule is subject to change.
About Stepping Stones Museum for Children
Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Conn., is an award-winning, private, non-profit 501(c)(3) children’s museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children and families. Located on five acres in Mathews Park, the LEED Gold certified museum encompasses five hands-on galleries, state-of-the-art Multimedia Gallery, Family and Teacher Resource Center, cafe and retail store.
Stepping Stones is located at 303 West Avenue, exit 14N or 15S off I-95 in Norwalk. Museum hours are Labor Day through Memorial Day, Tuesday—Sunday and holiday Mondays from 10 am-5pm; and Memorial Day through Labor Day, Monday-Sunday from 10 am-5 pm. Admission is $15 for adults and children and $10 for seniors. Children under 1 are free. To learn more, call 203 899 0606 or visit www.steppingstonesmuseum.org.