IUPUI among Children's Museum partners launching neighborhood-based educational program for families

  • March 7, 2016


INDIANAPOLIS -- The Children's Museum of Indianapolis and its partners, including Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, are launching a neighborhood-based education and career initiative known as the Mid-North Promise Program to help entire families reach their educational goals.

Promise programs typically provide local, place-based college support for graduating high school students from a specific school district, city or town. The Mid-North Promise Program will serve as a new national model, becoming the first promise program in the country to focus on a neighborhood anchored by a cultural institution. It will also be the first to take a family approach, providing support for both children and adults from cradle to career, including college enrollment and workforce certifications.

"IUPUI is proud to partner with The Children's Museum on the Mid-North Promise Program, which will provide unprecedented educational opportunities for those in the Mid-North neighborhoods," said IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar. "This partnership exemplifies what can happen when institutions, organizations and individuals come together to make a difference in our community."

The program will assist families with children in pre-K through 12th grade who live within one of the six neighborhoods in the Mid-North area: Crown Hill, Highland Vicinity, Historic Meridian Park, Historic Watson Park, Mapleton-Fall Creek and Meridian Highland.

"We are reaching out in a very personal way to invest in families in the Mid-North neighborhoods by helping them pursue their educational dreams through scholarships to attend our preschool, afterschool and out-of-school-time programs, as well as higher-learning and workforce-development tuition assistance grants for youth and their parents," said Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO of The Children's Museum. "Through these 'cradle-to-career' investments, our neighborhood families will have a unique opportunity to benefit from the family learning resources of the museum, our community and our post-secondary partners."

The new program features a dedicated Family Learning Navigator, who will help connect family members to educational and family support resources in an effort to elevate college graduation and employment rates. The navigator will work directly with families to develop individual family learning plans, provide referrals to partner resources in the community, and help family members navigate the best ways to attain a positive educational track for the entire family in pursuit of post-secondary degrees or career success.

"The Family Navigator leverages programs of partners like IUPUI to ensure academic success for children and career readiness for their families, improve the quality of life in the Mid-North neighborhoods, and strengthen our entire community,” said Amy Warner, IUPUI vice chancellor for community engagement.

The promise program will offer cradle-to-career services to guide Mid-North families on their educational path no matter what stage they are in. Multiple partners have joined the project to ensure optimal opportunities for the museum's neighbors when it comes to youth development, adult remediation (high school diploma or equivalent), higher education and career development.

A continuum of low- or no-cost learning opportunities will be available at the museum, designed specifically for neighborhood youth, from after-school and summer learning programs to a teen apprentice program to family learning events and free family memberships.

About The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary learning experiences across the arts, sciences and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. For more information about The Children's Museum, visit the website or follow it on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Richard Schneider
Leslie  Olsen