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    The cultural pass program through Vision Louisville is in full swing. As of earlier this week, the Mayor’s Office announced that they had given out 40,000 cultural passes to local families in Louisville and Jefferson County. That’s a lot of people taking advantage of the free opportunities to visit these area landmarks with their children. I personally have absolutely loved the program. It has allowed me to explore places in Louisville that I’ve known about for years, but just haven’t been able to visit until now. The cultural pass acts like a bucket list for my kids and me, and the fact that I was a working mother up until a couple of years ago and just never found the time to explore with my first child, I am eating this up now! As a stay at home mom with two children this summer, I am craving getting out and exploring. It is very important to me to offer my children educational experiences and settings in which they can learn something and from which they can grow.

    Learning about life on a farm at historic Locust Grove

    Recently I asked parents, teachers, librarian friends, etc. to weigh in and give me their perception of how they have used the cultural pass program, and how summer reading benefits their family. Here are some responses:

    “We've already been to many of the places on the cultural pass, but having it encouraged us to check out Riverside and Locust Grove. It really got us to think outside the box!” --Maggie K, mom of 2

    Great learning opportunities at Riverside-The Farnsley-Moremen Landing

    “Summer reading is a big deal. My children subscribe to the belief that summer is NOT for learning, so they will not play educational computer games or do worksheets or anything that even remotely resembles "school." But they will read and be read to. I shamelessly use the carrots offered by the various summer reading programs: LFPL, Barnes & Noble, Half-Price Books, Fazoli's, Old Spaghetti Factory. The cultural passes have been a great tool for me, especially because of my kids (aforementioned) belief that summer is not for learning. We've visited some of the places that aren't typically kid-centric, like the Filson Historical Society, but my kids unwittingly learned some things from visiting (insert evil mama laugh). The Filson's museum exhibit on the Civil War intrigued them. They loved dressing up at the Crane House. Today we are heading to the Ky Museum of Art & Craft.” --Carrie V, mom of 3

    Two cool dudes at Asia Institute-Crane House

    “My kids strongly resist anything remotely educational in summer. But it’s a great time to read together and explore new books. The prizes are a great incentive. We simply haven't had the chance to take advantage of the cultural passes yet. Once camps are over we plan to hit some of them. Those with very limited times (like the zoo is Mondays only) may not get used, even though we'd like to.” --Julie M, mom of 2

    "We have hit up a ton of places on the cultural pass: 

    Kentucky Science Center, 21c Museum, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Yew Dell, Locust Grove, Kentucky Derby Museum, American Printing House for the Blind...and we have a trip planned for Rauch Planeterium

    . I really want to get them to Local Speed too. We absolutely LOVE this pass. It's been nice to have a selection from indoor and outdoor activities. Their dad has taken them to most of them and they've really had a blast doing it together. I've taken them and have met other moms and we call it our "field trips." I am really hoping that they decide to do it again next year. Through this pass we were introduced to Yew Dell and I have to say it quickly became one of my favorite places in the Louisville area. 

    Reading is big in our home. I try to read more and more of the old fashioned books so my girls see me reading and they too will have that love. Our oldest is only four but we have already read two chapter books this summer and we are currently working on Jam

    es and the Giant Peach. We love getting lost in adventures. My 2 year-old will come up and say 'read to me momma'. I hope my girls love for books and stories will be a lifelong love affair." --Kristen L, mom of 2

    Many summer reading programs in Louisville and surrounding counties are still going strong. The biggest and most well known in the city, the Louisville Free Public Library summer reading program, continues through August 9. See this link for more information about many of the area programs throughout Kentuckiana.

    JCPS schools et al start back on or around August 13. You and your families still have about three weeks to check off some of the Louisville iconic places on the cultural pass. This Toddler Tuesdays article lists how we started off the program. My kids and I have visited Locust Grove and Kentucky Science Center since. Our next stop is the Asia Institute-Crane House. The program goes through August 13.

    Photos courtesy of Erin Nevitt and Carrie Vittitoe

    Erin Nevitt's picture

    About Erin Nevitt

    Longtime Louisvillian, I am a children's librarian at heart and have a passion for children's lit. I am most recently a stay-at-home mom who is always on the move, searching for family fun in Louisville. If it's free, it's preferable!

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