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Dingell Announces $60,000 in Museum and Library Services Grants for the 12th District

DEARBORN, MI - Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) announced $60,000 in American Rescue Plan grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), including $50,000 for the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and $10,000 to the City of Dearborn for the Dearborn Historical Museum. This funding will be used to meet community needs created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and assist recovery efforts, including the continuation, enhancement, or expansion of programs and services.

“COVID has had a devastating impact on museums and libraries of all sizes that play a vital role in educating our communities and our children,” said Dingell. “The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and Dearborn Historical Museum are part of the fabric of our communities here in Southeast Michigan and have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With this critical grant funding, provided by the American Rescue Plan, these local institutions will be able carry out their work sparking curiosity and educating our children during these extremely challenging times.”

“We are so excited to have received the American Rescue Plan grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This is the first time ever that an IMLS grant has been awarded to the Dearborn Historical Museum and we would like to thank the IMLS and all of our legislators, including Representative Debbie Dingell, for making this funding possible. This award will allow us to transform exhibit spaces at the historic 1833 Commandant's Quarters over the next year to better tell the story of our diverse and historically-significant community in a holistic and inclusive manner. We look forward to sharing these updates with the Dearborn community in the not-too-distant future,” said the Dearborn Historical Museum.

“This is such a fantastic opportunity to reach more students with this amazingly unique program. As an educator, I am always looking to create programming that incorporates a narrative for the learner to attach content to. This is at the heart of how we achieve retention. The beauty of the programs offered through the Challenger Learning Center is that they are designed with this concept in mind. Their immersive nature allows the participants to play a critical role in a simulated mission wherein they actually want to learn information to succeed. This makes forgetting the content from these experiences nearly impossible and I love that,” said David Clipner, Director of Education & Wildlife, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and Leslie Science & Nature Center.

“On behalf of the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and our Unity in Learning partner organizations, we thank the Institute of Museum and Library Service for the award of this support. This initiative will bring inspiring and immersive STEM programming to Southeast Michigan and to the new Challenger Learning Center at the St Clair County Community College in Port Huron,” said Mel Drumm, President & CEO, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and Leslie Science & Nature Center.

“We are grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for believing in the potential of the Challenger Learning Center at SC4 and to our Unity in Learning partners for helping to make it a reality. This grant will provide greater support and access to the Center, which will inspire tomorrow's STEM leaders and innovators through its fully immersive, simulated programming,” said Dr. Deborah Snyder, President, St. Clair County Community College.

Funding for the IMLS American Rescue Plan grant program supports the role of museums and libraries in responding to emergent needs and unexpected hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing impacts on programming and services. For more information on the IMLS grant program, please visit:


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