The program consists of free admission to individuals, school field trips, and other children’s groups. The ability to obtain these free admissions is need based, as determined by a third‑party agency. Agencies for group visits and individual passes currently include:
- Northern Michigan Head Start on behalf of its constituent preschool programs
- Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District on behalf of schools with high levels of at-risk children
- In the Traverse City Area Public Schools: e.g. Traverse Heights and Blair
- In outlying areas: e.g. Alba and Manton
- Other established programs that serve at-risk children
- Goodwill Industries on behalf of residents of the Goodwill Inn homeless shelter,
- Child & Family Services on behalf of their clients, especially foster families
- Women’s Resource Center on behalf of the residents of Helen’s House, the domestic violence shelter
- Way to Grow Program on behalf of their eligible participants
- Father Fred Foundation on behalf of families in need
- Big Brothers Big Sister on behalf of their child clients and volunteers
- Bethany Christian Services
- Lutheran Child & Family Services
- Doula Teen Parent Program
- Families with third-party documentation of need (usually public benefits)
- Holiday giveaways to needy families
This program also provides scholarships to the educational programs offered at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum for children and families who could not otherwise afford to participate. Such programs include after-school enrichment, summer day camps, or other fee-based programs offered by the Museum. Parents or caregivers who express financial need in a short, simple application form are considered. Museum senior staff, with the objective of providing the greatest access possible, given the +PLUS funds on hand, evaluates the applications for approval.
All gifts made to the +PLUS Program are restricted for use by at-risk or disadvantaged children as described here. All +PLUS gifts go directly toward serving the underserved; no part is used for general operating support or administrative costs. It is our goal that all children and families be able to share in the wonders of the Great Lakes Children’s Museum. The +PLUS Program helps us get closer to that goal.
If you would like to make a gift to the +PLUS Program call the Museum at 932-4526.