Featuring Free Children's Museum Membership to Licensed Foster Families, Books for Youth Backpack Distribution, BLUE, Colts Cheerleaders, Colts in Motion Traveling Museum
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) and the Indianapolis Colts will team up with The Children's Museum of Indianapolis to sponsor a day of fun for Indiana foster families. The event, Wednesday, July 20 from 10 am to 5 pm at the Museum (3000 North Meridian St.), features free admission for licensed foster families, a chance to visit with BLUE, the Colts mascot, and get autographs from the Colts Cheerleaders. In addition, the first 50 foster children to register for the celebration will receive a Books for Youth backpack filled with 25 age-appropriate books.
The event is one of many across the state to demonstrate appreciation to the 5,000 licensed foster families that care for the over 9,700 Indiana children currently in foster care.
"When children, through no fault of their own, are victims of abuse or neglect we often must make the difficult decision to remove them from their families," said James W. Payne, DCS Director.
"If we are unable to locate appropriate relatives, we rely on foster families to provide the safety, stability and love these children desperately need during this most vulnerable time. These families work with DCS staff, the courts, medical professionals, other social welfare professionals and more to ensure the ongoing well-being of these children entrusted to their care. Our partnerships with the Indianapolis Colts and The Children's Museum provide opportunities for these children to enjoy educational and special moments that will last a lifetime," he added.
During Foster Family Day, licensed foster parents can renew or register for their free one-year membership to The Children's Museum. This membership includes two adults, all foster children as well as any biological children under 21 living in the same household. With the free membership, foster families can enjoy all the wonders of the world's largest children's museum for an entire year.
Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders will sign autographs from 11 am till 1 pm and foster families will have a chance to explore the museum with BLUE from noon to 1 pm. Colts in Motion, the official traveling museum of the Indianapolis Colts, will also be available on the Museum's front plaza from 11 am till 1 pm.
Children's Museum visitors can participate in the Foster Family Day celebration by bringing a new or gently used book to donate to Books for Youth. Book donors can save $3 off their admission price (July 20 only; one discount per family). Visitors will also be able to purchase the limited edition BLUE backpack at the Children's Museum Gift Shop. Backpacks are only $22 and for each one purchased, a Books for Youth backpack filled with 25 age-appropriate books will be donated to a foster child.
Foster Family Day Schedule, Wednesday, July 20:
10 am to 5 pm - Registration/Renewal Foster Family Children's Museum Free Membership
10 am to 5 pm - Special Edition BLUE Backpack Purchase Opportunity (Gift Shop)
10 am to 5 pm - $3 Off Museum Admission for donating a book to Books for Youth
11 am to 1 pm - Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders Autographs
11 am to 1 pm - Indianapolis Colts in Motion Traveling Museum (front plaza)
12 noon to 1 pm - Tours of the Museum with Indianapolis Colts Mascot, BLUE
About Books for Youth:
The program started in 2006 through a partnership between the Indianapolis Colts and the Department of Child Services. Its goal is to provide every foster child in Indiana with a personal backpack filled with 25 books. To date, the Colts and DCS have collected more than 500,000 books statewide and are currently in the process of distributing the books to foster children across Indiana. Books for Youth is targeting a Super Goal for the Super Game: collect 750,000 books for foster kids by Feb. 2012. For more information: http://www.colts.com/sub.cfm?page=community_dynamic&id=157
Indiana's Department of Child Services (DCS) is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect. DCS case managers' primary focus is on keeping children safely at home with their family. However, sometimes it's necessary to place kids in temporary foster care to ensure their safety. An important agency initiative is the Kids First Trust Fund and DCS also administers special-needs adoptions and the child support bureau. In collaboration with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, the Books for Youth program is targeting a Super Goal for the Super Game: collect 750,000 books for foster kids by Feb. 2012. Indiana's Hotline to report child abuse or neglect: 800.800.5556. http://www.in.gov/dcs/index.htm
For more information:
Ann Houseworth, Communications Director
Rich Allen, Assistant Communications Director
Stephanie Mathes, Director of Community Relations
Anthony Bridgeman, Director of Community Initiatives
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
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