Laura from Illinois

"Our public library makes all kinds of cultural events and learning experiences available to all kids – regardless of their economic status."

Laura Curley of Chicago got her son a library card as soon as the 3-year-old could write his name. She’s grateful for the wealth of knowledge the library offers her now 4-year-old son, who favors authors Roald Dahl and Mary Pope. But Curley is especially thankful for the Chicago Public Library’s Kraft Great Kids Museum Pass program, which offers free family passes to multiple Chicago cultural institutions.

“To me, it’s one of the greatest things the City of Chicago has ever conceived,” she says.

Because her family lives in the suburbs, Curley says without the passes they would probably only make the occasional trip downtown. But the Kraft museum passes have allowed them to go to the Art Institute of Chicago three times and the Adler Planetarium a dozen times. They’ve also visited the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Brookfield Zoo.

“Without that library card, there’s no way that he would get that constant exposure,” Curley says. She appreciates being able to take her son multiple times to places such as the Art Institute. “It’s a neat feeling to be able to provide for your child and not have to worry about being able to afford it,” Curley says.

Now her son knows where everything is at the Art Institute and has recently taken up an interest in the impressionists.

“When my son started talking about Monet, I was happy I could take him to see it in person, rather than in a book,” she says. “He was star-struck!”