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New York Life Foundation Awards $1,200,000 To The National Archives Experience

Three-Year Grant to Enhance Civics Education for Students and Families

NEW YORK, NY, February 7, 2005 — The Foundation for the National Archives announced today that the New York Life Foundation has awarded a $1.2 million grant to support the National Archives Experience, an interactive educational program for students and families. The grant funds the production of a children's film and companion book that will be available to all families and school groups that visit the National Archives Learning Center. The funding will also support the expansion of exhibition spaces located at the Archives Building on the National Mall.

In making the announcement, Tom Wheeler, president of the Foundation for the National Archives, explained, "With the support of the New York Life Foundation, we are able to offer innovative, year-round civics education programs and exhibits that enable visitors of all ages to interact personally with the records of our federal government and the diverse American stories they tell. New York Life's support enables us, through the National Archives Experience, to expand upon the Archives' award-winning work in making the records of our nation accessible to more than one million visitors each year."

"The New York Life Foundation is committed to funding educational programs like the National Archives Experience," said Sy Sternberg, chairman and chief executive officer of New York Life and chairman of the New York Life Foundation. "This initiative will help to ensure that future generations are able to learn and understand the processes of government and the importance of civic responsibility."

The National Archives Experience began in 2003 with the reopening of the National Archives Rotunda. The initiative also includes the opening of the William G. McGowan Theater, the interactive Public Vaults exhibit, and the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery. On-going initiatives include the opening of the Learning Center and the creation of Web site Interactives.

The Learning Center, scheduled to open in the 2005-06 school year, will offer in-depth educational programs for middle- and high-school students, workshops and materials geared to the needs of parents and teachers, and distance learning initiatives that will enable young people across the country to participate in the Archives' educational programs. The Center will also be accessible to all visitors who wish to learn more about the National Archives and its unique holdings.

About the National Archives
The National Archives and Records Administration, an independent federal agency, is the nation's record keeper. Founded in 1934, its mission is unique — to ensure for the public and the President, the Congress, and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence. It enables people to inspect the record of what government has done. It enables officials and agencies to review their actions and helps citizens hold them accountable. It ensures continuing access to records that document the rights of American citizens, the actions of federal officials, and the national experience. The National Archives meets a wide range of information needs, among them helping people to trace their families' history, making it possible for veterans to prove their entitlement to medical care and other benefits, allowing congressional oversight committees to evaluate agencies, and preserving original White House records. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries and on the Internet at This link will open an external site in a new browser. .

About the Foundation for the National Archives
The Foundation for the National Archives is a non-profit organization committed to creating public awareness of the importance of the National Archives as a vital resource in the American democracy. The Foundation was created in 1992 to support the Archivist of the United States in developing programs, technology, projects, and materials that introduce and interpret the Archives' collection for the American people and for people around the world. The National Archives Experience is made possible by a public/private partnership between the National Archives and Records Administration and the Foundation for the National Archives, which is working as the private sector partner to support the creation of these new exhibitions and educational programs and resources. The Foundation is generating financial and creative support from individuals and corporations to provide this extensive outreach, which has not been mandated by Congress.

About the New York Life Foundation
The New York Life Foundation ( This link will open an external site in a new browser. ) is the major vehicle through which New York Life Insurance Company channels contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its Nurturing the Children initiative, the Foundation supports organizations, programs and services that target young people, particularly in the areas of mentoring, safe places to learn and grow, and educational enhancement opportunities. Through Volunteers for LIFE, its national community involvement initiative, New York Life also encourages volunteer participation by its employees, agents and retirees.

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New York Life Foundation Awards $1,200,000 To The National Archives Experience

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