Provide new experiences with the Go! Program
Museums across Canada have been providing enriching educational experiences to community members for decades. When children, youth and adults step through the museum doors they immediately enter upon an adventure with endless opportunities to explore, learn and engage in the history that has shaped our present and future. At the Friends of the Royal Alberta Museum Society (FRAMS), we believe that these opportunities should be available to all community members, regardless of their financial circumstances. As a result, in 2004, we launched our signature Go! Program. The Go! Program ensures that all Albertans have equal access to the rich experiences offered at the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) by providing passes to individuals, families and groups who would not otherwise be able to afford a visit.
According to the 2019 City of Edmonton Census, Edmonton has a population of 972,223, 196,298 of whom are under the age of 19. While the 2019 Census data did not show the prevalence of low-income in the City, the 2016 Census identified 105,460 individuals living with low-income.
While we do not know the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we do know that the pandemic has forced more individuals and families into a deeper expression of poverty and has exasperated the issues and challenges already faced by our city’s most vulnerable citizens. This has been particularly challenging for our young people. As families struggle with an uncertain economic future, stress and increased anxiety and other mental health issues, children are left isolated and away from the educational, social and recreational experiences provided by schools, child care centres and community programs.
With increased sanitization, reduced capacity and social distancing protocols, the Royal Alberta Museum officially reopened on May 16, 2020, and we have already experienced an overwhelming yearning for enriching community experiences, particularly among children and youth who have been missing the critical hands-on learning experiences provided through schools and education programs. It more important now than ever, that we protect the emotional and social well-being of our young people as individuals, families and communities move towards recovery.
Who Will it Benefit?
Your support of the Go! Program will benefit over 2,000 low-income children, youth, adults and families including various groups who would not otherwise be able to afford a visit to the museum. This includes individuals from of ages, ethnicities, cultures and genders and those living with physical and cognitive disabilities.
FRAMS works with partner organizations such as the Youth Restorative Action Project, iHuman Youth Society, Boys And Girls Clubs/Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Family Centre, and Multicultural Family Resource Centre to distribute Go! access passes to their clients and program participants.
Since the opening of the new Royal Alberta Museum, we have had requests for over 5000 passes to visit. We anticipate a sharp increase in requests for 2020/2021 due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 and your support will ensure we can meet this need.