GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Lynn Meadows Discovery Center has received the nation's highest honor given to museums for service to the community. The center is one of the 10 recipients of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
For 22 years, the award has celebrated institutions that respond to societal needs in innovative ways, making a difference for individuals, families, and their communities.
"This is a well-deserved honor for the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. This museum serves as a valuable community resource in Gulfport and throughout South Mississippi," said Sen. Thad Cochran, who recommended the Gulfport museum for the award. "I hope this award will fuel the museum's drive to continue to inspire and educate young people on the Gulf Coast for many more years."
This year's National Medal recipients show the transforming role of museums and libraries from educational destinations to full-fledged community partners and anchors," said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. "We are proud to recognize the extraordinary institutions that play an essential role in reaching underserved populations and catalyzing new opportunities for active local involvement."
"The shouts and giggles we hear every day are confirmation enough for us, but it sure doesn't hurt to hear that we have been selected as a national winner in recognition of exceptional service to our community," said Cindy DeFrances, executive director of Lynn Meadows Discovery Center for Children. "Our visitors know that we offer an experience like no other children's museum in Mississippi or along the Coast, one where we inspire children, families and communities through interactive educational experiences and exploration. At the center, a child can participate in activities as varied as spotting a lion from a safari jeep in Africa to climbing into a tree house in the oaks."
This year's winners were selected from 30 finalists from across the country nominated for the honor.
The award will be presented at an event in Washington, D.C., on June 1.