Friday, May 17, 2013

IMLS Unveils New, Downloadable Manual For 'Let's Move! Museums & Gardens' Initiative

Guidelines for institutions can be scaled for home and school use, too...
The federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) on Thursday unveiled a new, downloadable handbook designed for institutions that are interested in joining Let's Move! Museums & Gardens.  The 29-page manual, titled What Works!, offers "practical tips" for those who wish to support First Lady Michelle Obama's childhood obesity campaign.  (Above, the cover of the manual)

Mrs. Obama launched the initiative in May of 2011 to encourage museums and gardens, historic sites, zoos, and science and technology centers to create interactive exhibits, outdoor play spaces and educational programs that offer "positive messages" about cooking, nutrition, gardening, and physical activity.  The project also encourages institutions to revamp on-site food service protocols and serve healthier fare. It is coordinated by the IMLS. 

The What Works! manual explains the initiative’s key priorities, and features nine mini case studies about exhibits and programs created by some of the 625 museums and gardens across the US that have joined Let's Move!.  The manual literally details "what works" in institutional settings, and explains why these choices were made.

Download the manual:  What Works! Let's Move! Museums & Gardens {PDF}

But the manual is not just for pros:  It points out that ideas for exhibits and educational activities offered at museums, gardens and other sites can also be scaled and recreated in home and school settings.

Exhibits and programs featured in What Works! are from Edventure in Columbia, SC; Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT; Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, NC; Children's Museum of Manhattan in NY, NY; Old World Wisconsin in Eagle, WI; Mississippi Children's Museum in Jackson, Miss;  The Magic House, St. Louis Children's Museum, St. Louis, MO; Atlanta Botanical Garden in Atlanta, GA; and Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose in San Jose, CA. 

Museums and gardens in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have now joined Let's Move! Museums & Gardens, according to IMLS spokesman Melissa Heintz, including three of the five museums Mrs. Obama recently honored during a White House ceremony for the IMLS's 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service: The Boston Children’s Museum, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, CA.

CLICK HERE for IMLS's webpages for information about joining Let's Move! Museums and Gardens.  

Let’s Move! Museums & Gardens is led by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in partnership with the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of Children’s Museums, the American Public Garden Association, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Association of Science-Technology Centers, the American Association of State and Local History, the Association of African American Museums, and the Association of Art Museum Directors.

Check out for the website for Mrs. Obama's campaign. 

*CLICK HERE for links to all posts about Let's Move!