OLC and COSI Kick-off Bold Summer Program to Provide Youth Learning Across the State to Help Bridge Education Gap

UPDATE: The OLC hit the road on June 18 delivering more than 12,000 COSI Learning Lunchboxes across the state. Thank you to all of the libraries participating in this program.

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Columbus — The Ohio Library Council and the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) have launched a new program to distribute over 12,000 COSI Learning Lunchbox STEAM kits to each of Ohio’s 251 public library systems this summer to support youth learning across the state.

Studies show that the COVID-19 pandemic has created learning loss and disparities in learning.  The Ohio Distance Learning Initiative is an innovative program led by COSI and the state of Ohio, as well as an unprecedented collaboration of meal providers, libraries, museums, and cultural institutions across the state to deliver 50,000 free, hands-on science kits called Learning Lunchboxes to help bridge the gap. These boxes, historically created to be distributed alongside meal programs, provide five activities aligned with Ohio’s learning standards and promote science, technology, engineering, arts, math (STEAM), culture, history, and more. The Learning Lunchboxes are tailored to specific themes, such as Space, created in partnership with NASA.  COSI is also distributing a limited number of free kits to each of Ohio’s 611 school districts to help enhance in-class learning.

“This summer is an all hands on deck moment to provide critical learning as we come out of this global pandemic.  We must all work together to help bridge the education gap, especially for those who are underserved and were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.  We are excited to partner with the Ohio Library Council and hundreds of libraries across our great state this summer to serve families and youth,” said Dr. Frederic Bertley, President and CEO, COSI.

“We appreciate COSI’s leadership and partnership to work with Ohio libraries to deliver fun, hands-on learning to Ohio’s youth this summer.  Ohio libraries are critical community anchors and this partnership with the top science center in the nation will create learning opportunities across all corners of our state.  This demonstrates the power of partnerships when we bring people together around a common goal of serving our youth,” said Michelle Francis, Executive Director, Ohio Library Council. 

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