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COSI and Ohio ESC Association Kick-off Bold Back-to-School Partnership to Provide Student Learning Across All Ohio School Districts

Thursday, 07 October 2021

Ohio ESC Association and COSI will distribute thousands of COSI Learning Lunchbox Kits to Each ESC District and Ohio’s 611 School Districts in Ohio to help bridge education gap

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Center of Science and Industry (COSI), the top-ranked science center in the country by USA Today’s 10Best, and the Ohio ESC Association have teamed up to launch a partnership to distribute almost 20,000 COSI Learning Lunchbox STEAM kits to each of Ohio’s 611 school districts through the 51 ESC networks to fuel student engagement this school year.

Studies show that the COVID-19 pandemic has created learning loss and disparities in learning. The Ohio Distance Learning Initiative is an innovative program led by COSI and the state of Ohio, as well as an unprecedented collaboration of meal providers, libraries, museums, and cultural institutions across the state to deliver 50,000 free, hands-on science kits called Learning Lunchbox kits to help bridge the gap. These boxes, historically created to be distributed alongside meal programs, provide five activities aligned with Ohio’s learning standards and promote science, technology, engineering, arts, math (STEAM), culture, history, and more. The Learning Lunchboxes are tailored to specific themes, such as Space, created in partnership with NASA. COSI is also distributing a limited number of free kits to each of Ohio’s library districts to help with afterschool learning.

This unprecedented statewide effort has already reached all corners of Ohio and brought together over 400+ partners to help address the education needs in our state (full progress report available HERE).

“The pandemic has shined a light on the pre-existing education gap for underserved youth. We know that if we can fuel student engagement in the classroom and support our learners, we can help bridge the education gap that’s been exacerbated by the pandemic. We are so excited to partner with the Ohio ESC Association to deliver these fun, and engaging kits to student and educators across our great state,” said Dr. Frederic Bertley, President and CEO, COSI.

“Partnerships are key to helping to close the education gap in our state and the ESC’s of Ohio are excited to partner with COSI to serve our students, administrators, and educators. Ohio ESC’s are vital to the educational landscape to serve Ohio, and these hands-on learning kits will serve thousands of kids and families,” said Craig Burford, Executive Director, Ohio ESC Association.

To date, COSI has distributed over 60,000 Learning Lunchbox kits to serve students, families and underserved youth. Throughout the pandemic, COSI has been engaging with the community through COSI Connects, COSI’s digital doorway to online learning; the COSI Learning Lunchbox, kits filled with hands-on science activities; the new “COSI on Wheels: Curbside Edition,” The Color of Science: Digital Edition and QED with Dr. B, a WOSU-COSI prime time science television show.

COSI is now open Thursdays through Sundays, 10am – 5pm. To find out more about these programs and its new upcoming exhibit, Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, and to reserve your tickets to visit COSI online, please visit cosi.org.

The Ohio Educational Service Center Association (OESCA) represents the superintendents, teachers, supervisors and other personnel of Ohio's Educational Service Centers and seeks to promote excellence in education through the quality services provided by its member organizations.