1. Bootheel Youth Museum
Sara Neumann(202) 414-0788
Web Site: www.bootheelyouthmuseum.org
|A visitor explores the REO Speedwagon Fire Truck.
The Bootheel Youth Museum in Malden, Missouri—population 4,277—has only three full-time and three part-time staff members, and some volunteers. Yet it entertains, educates, and inspires "insatiable curiosity" in 30,000 visitors each year. This vibrant children’s science museum combines sound science and a thirst for adventure with innovative exhibits like BYM Children’s Village, This Island Mars: A Space Adventure, and Making Tracks on the Lewis and Clark Trail.
"The Bootheel Youth Museum could not be more deserving of the 2012 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. With a small staff, volunteers, and limited resources, the Bootheel Youth Museum’s innovative and unique exhibits provide an unforgettable experience for thousands of young people that visit each year. I’m proud of the work that the Bootheel Youth Museum does in their community, and I congratulate them on this important distinction," said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (MO).
Community Member: Lauren Collins
As a little girl, Lauren Collins was a frequent visitor to the Bootheel Youth Museum. Over the years, she was able to watch the Malden, Mo. museum change and grow from a few exhibits to more than 250 today. Lauren, now 22, signed up to volunteer to fulfill part of her curriculum at Southeast Missouri State University. Now she is, according to its director, "the face of the museum." She is Bootheel ’s most active and contributing volunteer over the past four years. "Serving at the museum has helped me grow and mature as a person – I’m different now in the best possible way," Lauren said. Relating equally well to pre-schoolers as to high school seniors, Lauren is helping make a difference at the science and mathematics-focused institution.
Next Winner: Contra Costa Library