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New York Transit Museum’s Subway Sleuths Honored By First Lady Michelle Obama

New York Transit Museum's Subway Sleuths Honored By First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama honors New York Transit Museum’s Subway Sleuths after-school program. | Photo via NYTM

New York Transit Museum’s (NYTM) Subway Sleuths, an after-school program that uses a shared interest in trains among kids on the autism spectrum as a means to encourage peer-to-peer interaction and develop healthy social skills, was honored by First Lady Michelle Obama as one of the recipients of the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award on Tuesday.

Participants of the program work in groups to explore the Transit Museum’s decommissioned subway station home, solving transit mysteries, becoming transit experts and sharing that enthusiasm with others. Each class is facilitated by a special education teacher and a speech-language pathologist, both trained in ASD support, and a Transit Museum educator.

“Subway Sleuths is a wonderful program for kids on the spectrum. Because of this program my son has gained social skills which he would not otherwise have gained in school,” says Zena Moore, a Subway Sleuth Parent on the NYTM website. “He is able to connect with his peers in and outside of school and is more confident in communicating with others. I strongly recommend this program to parents who are looking for alternative and affordable programs for a child on the spectrum.”

According to the White House, recipients were honored for “using engagement in the arts and the humanities to help increase academic achievement; growth in graduation and college enrollment rates; and improvements in literacy and language abilities, communication and performance skills, and cultural awareness.”

Other honorees included:

  • AileyCamp Miami, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County – Miami, FL
  • Baranov Museum Youth History & Film Summer Intensive, Kodiak Historical Society – Kodiak, AK
  • IBA’s Youth Development Program, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción – Boston, MA
  • Next Gen, Bay Area Video Coalition – San Francisco, CA
  • Screen It!, Mexic-Arte Museum – Austin, TX
  • Sphinx Overture, Sphinx Organization – Detroit, MI
  • St. Louis ArtWorks – St. Louis, MO
  • Teen Arts + Tech Program, West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology – Grand Rapids, MI
  • The Reading Road Show – Gus Bus, Office on Children & Youth, Institute for Innovation in Health &
  • Human Services, James Madison University – Harrisonburg, VA
  • Tribal Youth Ambassadors, California Indian Museum and Cultural Center – Santa Rosa, CA
  • True Colors: Out Youth Theater, The Theater Offensive (the nation’s oldest LGBTQ youth theatre troupe) – Boston, MA

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