Playful Learning For All: The Bay Area Discovery Museum Partners with San Francisco Unified School District – Bay Area Discovery Museum

Playful Learning For All: The Bay Area Discovery Museum Partners with San Francisco Unified School District

SAUSALITO, CA – October 12, 2023 – Today, the Bay Area Discovery Museum announced a three-year partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) that will amplify the impact of play-based learning in early education and elementary school sites. This partnership will bring evidence-based, hands-on learning experiences to students, teachers, educators and families from all SFUSD Transitional Kindergarten (TK) classes and Kindergarten through fifth-grade classes for four of the district’s highest-need Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools (CSI).

At its core, this collaboration recognizes the power and importance of play in learning. “Long term, a partnership like this has the ability to transform community well-being,” says Kelly McKinley, CEO of Bay Area Discovery Museum. “We know from research that children thrive when they have access to playful learning. And when children thrive, families and communities thrive.”

This effort is a significant step in the museum’s vision of a world where “every child grows and thrives through joyful play.” In the first year of this partnership, the museum will provide several programs that will serve 16,000 SFUSD students and educators, including:

  • 79 play-based Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) Workshops at schools tailored for TK students
  • 54 Field Trips to the museum
  • 30 Try It Truck visits (the museum’s engineering lab on wheels) to CSI schools
  • 11 Professional Development Sessions for Paraeducators and TK and K – 5 Teachers
  • Teacher Appreciation Event at the museum
  • 3 Workshops for TK Families

Empowering Educators
The professional development workshops will support SFUSD’s ongoing rollout of TK classrooms and the training of TK teachers, with the museum providing tools and resources to integrate play-based learning across various subjects. “Teachers will learn strategies to stretch students’ thinking and help them persevere through challenges, enriching the depth and quality of teaching,” says Drew Sarratore, the museum’s Director of Playful Learning and a former elementary school principal. “When guided play is incorporated into everyday classroom interactions, it amplifies the existing curriculum, making learning more engaging and effective without overburdening teachers.”

Deepening Community Connections
To expand the learning beyond the classroom, each student will take home an “Admit 5” pass to enjoy the museum at no cost. Qualifying families will receive a complimentary membership, which includes unlimited entry all year. “I am eager to see how this program evolves,” said Sarratore, “and how we can build relationships with San Francisco families and learn how we support them in raising joyful, thriving children.”.

About Bay Area Discovery Museum
The Bay Area Discovery Museum is in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area on Fort Baker in Sausalito, CA. The museum believes that children grow and thrive through joyful play. Every day, the creates opportunities for Bay Area children to learn through interactive, hands-on activities as they explore, discover and deepen connections with other children and adults. To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram and Facebook. 


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