Children’s Museum Offers Free Programming for 1st Graders

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DECATUR – The Children’s Museum of Illinois will be offering a series of free STEAM-based programming for first grade classrooms in Macon, Piatt, Coles, Moultrie and Douglas counties.

This programming is being introduced thanks to a contribution by the John Ullrich Foundation. Programming will include the Ullrich Literary Book Bashes that will be free to all first grade students in the participating counties.

These events will include readings of selected books and a lesson focusing around the subject matter. Lessons will range from creating sculptures to learning to play instruments.

Each bash will include funding for bus transportation, story time led by the Museum program coordinator, a STEAM-based craft and time for free exploration in the Museum.

Through the Foundation’s gift, the Museum hopes to expand its outreach to students that have been negatively impacted by state-wide cuts to arts education and field trip funding.

Director of Marketing and Development Jen McMillin says this contribution will allow them to introduce exciting new components to their Book Bashes and Discovery Workshops.

“While the Ullrich Book Bashes are only for first grade students, we hope that this will assist schools in supplementing classroom curriculum and lead to more students and teachers visiting the Museum throughout grade school,” McMillin explains.

Topics and dates for these programs are available on the Museum’s site here. Interested schools and teachers can reserve a date by contacting Director of Museum Experiences Katie VanMetre by email at or by phone at 217-423-5437.

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