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The Virginia Living Museum Receives $25,000 Grant From Sentara Healthcare For STEM Readiness

The Virginia Living Museum receives a $25,000 grant from Sentara Healthcare to support STEM readiness in young students, teacher development, and college/workforce ready citizens. The Museum believes that human diversity, as with biodiversity in nature, makes communities stronger and more resilient. With the challenges of the pandemic, new opportunities to engage audiences virtually and to advance the Museum’s educational programs, will better serve today’s STEM learners. 

The Sentara Healthcare grant funds will support the Museum’s Living STEM program curriculum, building programs for K-12 students, teacher professional development, and opportunities for a diverse student volunteer program. The Museum’s partnership with local curriculum leaders enables school districts to matriculate career and college ready students, fulfilling a community building culture and purpose. 

The goals for the upcoming school year are: to increase formal Museum science education program delivery, increase Teacher proficiency in Natural Science, and grow Museum youth volunteers. 

Rebecca Kleinhample Executive Director states: “The museum has been  building career pathways for  56 years. Education programs and classes relate our local flora and fauna to a larger conversation about science and nature and our interconnectedness on this one earth. The museum inspires STEM proficiency in all ages, toddlers and preK, as well as college students and adults. By engaging our community in comprehensive programs to promote green practices, skill building, and volunteerism, we empower each other to become better stewards for tomorrow to “protect what’s precious.”     

Sentara Healthcare celebrates more than 130 years in pursuit of its mission – “we improve health every day.” Sentara is an integrated, not-for-profit health care delivery system with more than 29,000 employees (including 1,375 physicians and advanced practice providers), 12 hospitals in Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina and the Sentara Health Plans division which serves over 900,000 members. Sentara is recognized nationally for clinical quality and safety, and is strategically focused on innovation and creating an extraordinary health care experience for our patients and members. Sentara was named to IBM Watson Health’s “Top 15 Health Systems” in 2021 and 2018, recognized as a “Best Employer for Women” by Forbes in 2020, and ranked as one of Forbes “America’s Best Employers” in 2018.

The Virginia Living Museum is a leader in natural living exhibits! Native Virginia mammals, marine life, reptiles, amphibians, birds, plants and planets are presented in natural ecosystems and honored for their ability to connect people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation. 

Accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (living exhibits) and the American Alliance of Museums (non-live collections), the Museum’s high standards are its hallmark, as only fourteen institutions share this designation in the country. Community volunteers outnumber staff by approximately 5:1 for incredible mission delivery. The Museum is a certified Virginia Green attraction dedicated to environmentally friendly practices and education. 

Created by the Warwick Rotary Club and Junior League of Hampton Roads in 1966, the Museum is an independent 501c3 organization, a successful public/private partnership with the City of Newport News and all guests.

Located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News (I-64, exit 258-A), hours are 9 to 5 daily. Learn more at, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or call 757-595-1900.

Built by the community, beloved by the community, sustained by the community.

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