Port Discovery Children’s Museum Launches New Access Program Providing Low-Cost Access to Play & Learning

Two children work together as they stack foam blocks on a pretend crane in Port Discovery's Port Open Play Area

Port Discovery Children’s Museum Welcomes All Community Members to Play, Learn & Explore With Launch of New Access Program

PlayMakers Program Provides Low-Cost Access to Families with EBT or WIC Cards 

May 11, 2021 (Baltimore, MD) – Port Discovery Children’s Museum is pleased to announce the launch of PlayMakers, a new access program that provides low-cost Museum access to Maryland families with EBT or WIC Cards.

PlayMakers will reduce the cost of admission to Port Discovery Children’s Museum to $3 per person for Maryland-based families who present an EBT/Independence Card or WIC ID card. The discounted admission is valid for up to five family members, and is available on any day the Museum is open to the general public.

While the PlayMakers Access Program provides families with access to Port Discovery by eliminating cost as a barrier to visiting, the program is intended to encourage all community members to visit and benefit from Port Discovery Children’s Museum, and to create positive change in our community.

“Play helps children learn, imagine and discover – and it helps children heal, helps them connect to others, and helps them learn about themselves and the world around them” said Bryn Parchman, President & CEO of Port Discovery Children’s Museum. “Unfortunately, though, for a variety of reasons, not every child has access to safe, purposeful play, and there are members of our community who have never had the chance to visit and benefit from Port Discovery. As an advocate for children and families in our community, we believe we have a role in ensuring all children have access to play – and to resources that will help them be better prepared for school and life. PlayMakers will help us serve the whole community, creating powerful play and learning experiences for all families.”

To help develop and launch the community access program, Port Discovery Children’s Museum is working with organizations serving low-resource, high-risk populations, including the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Harriet Lane Pediatric Clinic at Johns Hopkins, Centro Sol, Esperanza Center, Urban Strategies, Inc., and The University of Maryland, Baltimore/Promise Heights. Each partner has worked with Port Discovery to provide community input on the program, to provide orientations to Port Discovery to the families they serve, and to connect families with information and programming that help parents and caregivers learn ways to use play in their homes and everyday lives.

“We are excited to let our Promise Heights families know about Port Discovery’s new PlayMakers program, which we are proud to support as an official program partner,” said Bronwyn Mayden, Assistant Dean and Executive Director of Promise Heights, University of Maryland School of Social Work. “There is so much potential to help our youngest learners and their families achieve school readiness by kindergarten, and having access to playful learning at a place like Port Discovery is an important way to help families support their young learners.”

“It is great that Port Discovery is investing in the emotional well-being of children amidst the pandemic; many of the families we work with do not have a backyard or playground nearby,” said Matthew Dolamore, Director, Catholic Charities’ Esperanza Center. “The new $3 admission rate will make this outstanding community resource more accessible for kids of all backgrounds to play, learn, and explore together.”

In addition, through the generous support of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA), Port Discovery Children’s Museum will offer guests visiting via the PlayMakers program a MDOT MTA CharmCard good for unlimited one-day travel to/from the Museum via MDOT MTA Local Bus, Light Rail, and Metro Subway.

“Ensuring equitable access to transit is fundamental to our role in the community,” said MDOT MTA Administrator Kevin Quinn.  “The Port Discovery PlayMakers Program offers MDOT MTA additional ways to demonstrate that public transit is a valuable resource for ensuring that our riders and their families get to participate in some of life’s most enjoyable and educational opportunities.”

To redeem PlayMakers pricing, guests must purchase/reserve tickets for their visit by going to https://tickets.portdiscovery.org/default.aspx and selecting the PlayMakers Admission rate. Guests will present their EBT/Independence or WIC ID card at the Port Discovery Box Office on the day of their visit. More information on the PlayMakers program can be found at www.PortDiscovery.org/PlayMakers.

The PlayMakers program has been made possible by generous funders and donors, including Morgan Stanley. Fundraising for this program is ongoing and critical to helping Port Discovery continue to offer this important community program for years to come.

Organizations interested in supporting the PlayMaker program as a funder, donor or supporter should contact Emanuel Figueroa, Director of Individual and Community Relations at Port Discovery Children’s Museum, at 410-864-2672 or efigueroa@portdiscovery.org

Port Discovery’s PlayMakers program has been inspired by Museums for All program, a signature access program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), administered by the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), to encourage people of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum-going habits.

About the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) 

MDOT MTA is one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. MDOT MTA operates LocalLink and commuter buses, Light RailLink, Metro SubwayLink, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train service and a comprehensive Mobility (paratransit) system. MDOT MTA’s goal is to provide safe, efficient and reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service. As a participating agency in APTA’s Health and Safety Commitment Program, MDOT MTA is dedicated to keeping our employees and passengers safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, visit mta.maryland.gov, check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/mtamaryland and follow us on Twitter @mtamaryland.

About Port Discovery Children’s Museum 

As the premier children’s museum in the mid-Atlantic, Port Discovery Children’s Museum educates children and inspires life-long curiosity. Our play-to-learn philosophy opens the door for children to discover and explore the world around them and to lead smarter, healthier, more engaged lives. The Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution, offers 3 floors of educational, interactive exhibits and programs and is ranked among the Top Children’s Museums in the United States. To learn more, visit www.portdiscovery.org.