Creating Access for All

in Education, Information

When my friends and family ask me about my “Access for All” button I am very proud to tell them what it means for science, arts and heritage organizations.

“Prop 1 means that everyone has access to science, heritage and art organizations no matter the income of the family. It will also provide more opportunities for organizations to do outreach to schools that would not normally be touched because of distance or cost.”

The response I have received is very surprising. “But this tax will not affect me, I don’t care about these organizations, I want to go to Monster Truck Rallies. Why should I be taxed for something I won’t even enjoy?”

When I was in preschool and elementary school we went on at least two field trips a year, plus organizations would come  to the school and present to us. All of this added to my education and helped shape my mind to appreciate arts, heritage and science.

Some people believe that only arts organizations will benefit from this; while arts are an important part of a well-rounded education and they should benefit, they will not be the only organizations.  Science centers and heritage museum will also benefit a great deal from Prop 1. Coming from a performance arts background one would think that my favorite places to visit in school would be the theater or ballet, but in fact it was field trips to the Museum of History and Industry, The Burke Museum and the Pacific Science Center. Just goes to show that even with an arts background the best places I visited as a kid were science and heritage museums.

What does this mean for KidsQuest Children’s Museum?

The museum serves a 60-mile radius.  Outside our own district, we serve three other districts. One of our most popular outreach programs is our Field Trips to Go, which brings educational content that supports the curriculum the students are learning in class.  This hour-long hands- on science class allows students to dive deeper into what they are already studying and take the newly gathered knowledge from our programs and apply it in a group setting with experiments, and engineering challenges. Currently our two Field Trip to Go vans allow us to visit all 17 elementary schools in the Bellevue School District as well as over 26 public outreach events including farmers markets.

A way that we will expand our program with Prop 1 is that every child who participants in our outreach programs will receive passes to come to the museum with their families.  This allows them to come explore on their time.  Then that child gets to be the expert, showing their family what they have learned.

In a little over three years, we have delivered 1200 programs in about 175 schools. With Access for All, it would allow us to acquire and maintain two more vans which would double our fleet.

Things to remember:

  1. Prop 1 is meant to expand children’s education and provide access to science, heritage and art organizations for all students, not just arts organizations.
  2. This tax would cost only 1 cent for every $10 that you spend.