On Nov. 14, the Long Island Children’s Museum (LICM) received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service at a White House ceremony.
Presented by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community and celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
IMLS director Susan Hildreth was joined by White House Domestic Policy Council director Cecilia Muñoz to present the medal, and NPR senior national correspondent Linda Wertheimer served as emcee.
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LICM president Suzanne LeBlanc; Robert S. Lemle, LICM board co-chair; and community members Francisco Quijada and his 6-year-old daughter, Ruth, accepted the National Medal.
Together to kindergarten, a community-focused initiative for Spanish and Haitian-speaking immigrant families, is the LICM's kindergarten readiness program. Francisco Quijada and his wife have participated twice, most recently with their 6-year-old daughter, Ruth, and have enrolled again for next summer as their third child, Sarah, prepares for school.
“For once, there was somewhere my wife and I could go where we were seen as equals; we all spoke the same language and we were all there for the same purpose – our children. For the first time, we felt comfortable,” reflects Francisco.
“We are very proud to name Long Island Children’s Museum one of this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service recipients. This year’s National Medal recipients share the common bond of having achieved extraordinary success at reaching out to the communities they serve in effective and inventive ways,” Hildreth said.
“We are honored to receive this national recognition, which celebrates museums that go ‘beyond expected levels of community outreach,’” LeBlanc said. “This honor has special resonance as our community struggles in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Community service is at the heart of our mission and values, and our role as a safe and welcoming environment for children and families has never been more clear. This recognition honors not just LICM, but all our partners and supporters who work with us to address our community’s needs and challenges.”
Medal winners are selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. This year’s honorees exemplify the nation’s great diversity of libraries and museums and include a school library, county library systems, individual public libraries, children’s museums, an art museum, science centers, a park conservancy, and more, from 10 different states.
To learn more about the 2012 National Medal winners, visit
Story submitted by the Long Island Children's Museum