By Deb Lahey, President & CEO, Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
I am very excited to announce that the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has been selected as a finalist for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries that make exceptional contributions to their communities, and only 30 museums and libraries in the country have been nominated. Medals will be awarded in May to 10 institutions.
The award committee focused on our educational outreach, both in the Museum and across Chicago. As you know, education has always been an integral part of the Museum, dating back to our early Academy days. By 1900, we’d established ourselves as a leading educational resource for area teachers and students, and our impact has only grown since then. Today, we engage more than 1,500 local teachers and more than 50,000 students in more than 78,000 contact hours each year – that’s more hands-on teaching than any other museum in Chicago! Add that amazing outreach to the 321,000 visitors we welcome every year and the 700 C3 leaders we’ve trained. Our impact throughout the city is undeniable.
To achieve this kind of outreach is no small feat, and we’re thrilled that IMLS is giving us the chance to talk about this on a national scale. This is truly the result of the hard work and dedication of our staff, volunteers, and leadership.
We appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to positively impact our community through our immersive exhibits, family events, and in-depth education programs.