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Community Advocacy Organization

‘Museums for All’ makes local children’s museum accessible to more Lansing families

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

Photo courtesy of Impression 5 webpage


According to the United Way, there are over 11 million children in the United States living below the federal poverty line. In Lansing, nearly 23% of the population is living in poverty. To give perspective, that is about 1 in 7 children. Along with food insecurity and limited educational materials at home, most of these households lack the funds needed to access additional enrichment experiences.


According to National Center for Education Statistics, 61% of low-income families do not have a single book for their children at home. Another study shows children growing up in poverty have 200 fewer words in their vocabulary than their middle-class counterparts when they start school. There is an obvious gap.


One local children’s center in the heart of the city is partnered with a nationally-recognized organization to do its part in closing it.


Photo courtesy of Impression 5 Webpage


Impression 5 is an interactive, hands-on children’s science center. Created in 1972 by Marilynne Eichinger, the concept stands as one of the first and oldest centers of its kind in the United States.


As mentioned on their website, “She opened Impression 5 Science Center—a dynamic, interactive space for families to play, create, and challenge their understanding of science together…”


In 2017, “Impressions”, as the locals endearingly call it, became a proud participant in the ‘Museums for All’ program; this is an initiative to create accessibility and opportunities for children and families of all backgrounds. Impression 5 is one of over 1,000 museums enrolled nationally.


Museums for All said, “The cost of museum admission can be a barrier for many low-income families. Participating museums provide reduced admission, ranging from free to $3.00, to visitors presenting their EBT cards. This reduced rate is available during all normal operating hours to up to four individuals per EBT card. With a year-round open door policy, Museums for All invites low-income visitors to feel welcome at cultural institutions.”

In planning a visit specific to Impression 5, families can expect to pay $2 per adult or child aged two or older. In their expansion on the existing program, Impressions will accept EBT, Medicaid and WIC cards alongside with a valid ID which will allow reduced admission for up to 6 guests. Admission is always free for any children under two. It is open to the public every Thursday through Sunday from 9:30 AM to 4 PM.

Screenshot from Impression 5 webpage


The center also extends scholarships for reduced cost and free yearly memberships. Children receiving scholarships may also enroll in special day camps and workshops for 50% off the original costs. Email white@impressions5.org for more details.


Impressions has recently celebrated 10,000 admissions from this program and looks forward to more families visiting soon.


In the state of Michigan alone, there are 59 museums and centers that are part of “Museums for All.” The Michigan History Museum in Lansing is also listed on the official website as an enrollee. Check out the full list of museums nationwide.



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