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News Release November 7, 2023

Boston Children’s Museum Awarded $100,000 Grant from Lilly Endowment

Planning grant will focus on the role children’s museums can play in the character development of children


Boston, MA—November 7, 2023 —

Boston Children’s Museum has recently received a $100,000 planning grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the Museum in deepening and expanding the work in fostering character development in young children.

The premise of fostering character already underpins nearly every project and initiative undertaken by Boston Children’s Museum. This dimension of the Museum’s work is codified in its Learning Framework, a set of principles and philosophies that guide the development of new initiatives, exhibits, and programs. The Museum uses the term “Habits of Mind” to describe the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical ways of thinking and being that support the healthy development of children.

The planning grant, awarded to 20 museums, will extend for one year and allows participating museums to explore and learn more about character development and contemplate ways to incorporate character development into museum activities. At the end of one year, museums participating in the planning phase will be eligible to submit proposals for grants to implement character building activities in their museum.

“Children’s museums are in a unique position to support the development of character—the curiosity, creativity, persistence, empathy, and other personality traits that make individuals who they are,” said Melissa Higgins, Vice President Programs & Exhibits. “We’re very grateful to Lilly for the chance to further expand our work in this area by conducting research, learning from experts in the field of child development and character, and engaging in meaningful conversations about character with the parents, caregivers, and children we serve.”

Through the grant, Boston Children’s Museum will seek to answer a series of questions with the intention to enhance its character development work and define a clear vision for what a next phase implementation grant would entail.


About Boston Children’s Museum
Boston Children’s Museum engages children and families in joyful discovery experiences that instill an appreciation of our world, develop foundational skills, and spark a lifelong love of learning. More information about Boston Children’s Museum can be found at Become a fan of the Museum on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Hours and Admission
The Museum is open Wednesday–Sunday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Advance tickets/reservations are highly recommended, especially during weekends, holidays, and school vacation weeks. Adults, $22, children (1-15) and senior citizens, $22; children under 12 months and Museum members are always free.