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Press Release: April 2014
Habitot Children's Museum
Media Contact: Lauren Levin, (510) 647-1111 x31
Public Information:
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Habitot Children's Museum's Foster Family Fun Day

Free Exclusive Museum Access to Foster & Adoptive Families

(Berkeley, CA) April 13, 2014

Thanks to a grant from First 5 Alameda County, Habitot Children's Museum will open its doors Sunday, April 13th from 2-5pm for Foster Family Fun Day, a special, exclusive and free event just for foster, kinship and adoptive families. Foster Family Fun Day is part of Habitotís extensive programming for foster families funded by First 5 Alameda County.

On April 13th, families will meet other foster and adoptive families and enjoy time together while also having a good time playing with fun hands-on exhibits and creative art activities in the Art Studio. Children of all ages, including siblings, are welcome.

Habitot is currently in the process of building a strong partnership with the Alameda County Department of Children and Family Services in order to support and sustain family reunification efforts through Habitotís unique hands-on learning environment for young children. Families at Habitot can be relaxed and unguarded, able to play and learn together: the perfect set-up for family bonding. Habitot posters now hang in DCFS offices, and Habitot admission passes are part back of the caseworkers' tools in working with families. 18 hospitals and agencies serving child welfare families are distributing Habitot passes as well, and encouraging their use.

In addition to Foster Family Fun Days and circulating passes, Habitot staff attends quarterly Family Reunification Celebrations at DCFS, offering passes and promoting free Habitot memberships to families present. Finally, a group of Habitot volunteers are creating comfort-care packages (including art supplies) for the children at DCFS's Assessment Center, where children await foster placement.

Lynette Wong at Oakland Childrenís Hospitalís Early Childhood Mental Health Program has given out passes to a dozen Reunification families and helped them plan their visits. She says: "When I tell families about Habitot, they are extremely excited to hear that a place like this exists for their family. I will do anything to help Habitot succeed because our families really need it as a community resource!"

Habitot looks forward to forging an even more vital partnership for DCFS, hospitals, and family agencies and serving Foster and Reunification families for a long time to come.

About Habitot Children's Museum

Habitot Children's Museum was founded in 1992 to meet the unique needs of infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Habitotís mission is to help the broad community of parents and caregivers raise curious, creative and confident children with dedicated programs for children with special needs, teen parents, formerly incarcerated mothers, and homeless families. Hands-on exhibits and programs focus exclusively on early childhood, ages 0-5. Since opening 16 years ago in 1998, Habitot has welcomed more than 1,000,000 visitors, filling a niche for new parents and caregivers who seek safe and enriching experiences for young children, with parenting support, a toy lending library, affordable music and art classes, immersive learning exhibits, and a drop-in Art Studio.

Habitot Children's Museum has been recognized as the "best museum for families" by Bay Area Parent Magazine readers. In addition, Habitotís founder, Gina Moreland, has been honored with a Bay Area "Jefferson Award", and was the City of Berkeley's ďEarly Childhood Champion of the Year.Ē In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Parentsí Press readers voted Habitot "Best of the East Bay," and in 2013 Habitot received the GuideStar Exchange Silver participation level, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information. In 2010, 2011 and in 2012, and in 2013, Habitot was designated a "Top-Rated Non-profit" by GreatNonprofits, a leading provider of reviews and ratings of nonprofit organizations. See all awards: www.habitot.org/museum/about_awards.html

Habitot Children's Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-1111
www.habitot.org