News Published: May 20, 2011 - 11:58 AM

Stepping Stones Museum for Children receives award

By Stepping Stones Museum for Children

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Stepping Stones Museum for Children has always been a special place where children of all ages are encouraged to explore, invent, test and observe. It is through this philosophy coupled with the museum’s passionate commitment to media literacy, the latest technological advances and global awareness that Stepping Stones has been selected as a 2011 MetLife Foundation & ACM Promising Practice Award recipient.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children, KidZone Museum in Truckee, CA and DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville, IL were each selected as 2011 MetLife Foundation & ACM Promising Practice Award recipients. Grants totaling $25,000 were presented during an award ceremony today at the InterActivity 2011: Innovation is Child’s Play conference in Houston, Texas.

Stepping Stones was chosen for the award for The Multimedia Global Connections Initiative which introduces children and their families to tropical rainforests. The project featured advanced distance learning technology capable of connecting children in the United States and Guatemala for an artwork exchange, a multi-media production explaining the lifecycle of a disease-curing plant, the Rainforest Adventure™ traveling exhibit and partnerships with Rainforest Alliance and The Nature Conservancy.

MetLife Foundation and Association of Children's Museums Promising Practice Award rewards excellence and provides recognition for innovative and creative practices in children's museums; promotes management practices that support alternative and creative programming; builds a body of knowledge of exemplary programs and practices; and establishes models for the advancement of the children's museum field at-large. With this award, Stepping Stones sets a solid example for other institutions as it relates to the enhancement of 21st century skills, cultural competency, literacy and critical thinking in children’s museums.

“Stepping Stones is truly honored to receive the MetLife Foundation & ACM Promising Practice Award,” said Rhonda Kiest, executive director at Stepping Stones Museum for Children. “When we re-opened our museum last November after a 22,000 square foot renovation, the use of the latest technology was one of our greatest achievements in bringing a 21st century museum to the community. One of our biggest goals is for our visitors to drive the action – a place where they’re the builder, the inventor.”

“Global citizens require strong literacy, cultural competency and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills. Children’s museums show children, families and schools how to effectively develop these skills through informal learning experiences,” said Dennis White, MetLife Foundation president and CEO.

“Children’s Museums engage children through play to think critically and creatively, which is key to nurturing the next generation of workers and leaders,” said Janet Rice Elman, ACM executive director.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children is an award winning, private, non-profit 501 (c)(3) children’s museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children and families. For more information about Stepping Stones, to book a field trip or schedule a class, workshop or facility rental call 203-899-0606 or visit

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