Saturday, May 11, 2013

Phoenix museums and education

Salt River Project, Valley of the Sun United Way, and Southwest Human Development are corporate sponsors for the new Phoenix Great Start Pilot Program.  The program enables staff in the Balsz school district to give children a Passport to Culture and Education.  It is intended to broaden children’s experiences in preparation for school, and thereby facilitate learning. Said Mayor Greg Stanton “A child’s earliest experiences in life are important for their long term well being.”

The program will enable children to visit the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona Science Center, Pueblo Grande Museum, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center, Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, and Japanese Friendship Garden.

The currently closed Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum would have been a prime candidate for inclusion in the program. It was highly regarded for its educational value and admitted children for free. School busses were once lined up behind the museum nearly every day during the school year. Conspicuously excluded from the program is the AHS Marley Center Museum (AKA History Museum at Papago Park) in Tempe.

Why do Arizona taxpayers provide millions of dollars per year to the Arizona Historical Society  to operate a museum that hardly anyone visits and that the local community does not regard as having significant educational value?

Phoenix museum subsidy aids some low-income kids
Eugene Scott
The Arizona Republic, Monday, 4.29.2013, page B1

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