Gift from LeFrak Charitable Foundation Supports NYC School Visits main content.

Gift from LeFrak Charitable Foundation Supports NYC School Visits

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LeFrak Family at AMNH
Students from Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School, along with Museum President Ellen V. Futter, and Karen and Richard S. LeFrak.
© AMNH/D. Finnin

Hundreds of thousands of New York City schoolchildren will enjoy free visits to the Museum for years to come thanks in large part to a $10 million gift from the Richard S. and Karen LeFrak Charitable Foundation. 


On October 4, the Museum celebrated this generous gift with a special ceremony honoring Museum Trustee Richard  S. LeFrak, his wife Karen, and sons Harrison and James, where it was announced that the Museum has officially named its fourth-floor special exhibition gallery the LeFrak Family Gallery. Museum Chairman Lewis Bernard, President Ellen V. Futter, and Department of Education Chancellor Dennis Walcott were joined by  students from Bedford Stuyvesant New Beginnings Charter School and P.S. 116 Elizabeth L. Farrell, who received yellow Explorer bracelets—colorful "passports" to the exhibition on view in the LeFrak Family Gallery. Beginning this fall, Explorer bracelets will be given to all New York City public and private school groups visiting the LeFrak Family Gallery, where the Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence exhibition is currently on view.


The Museum also announced a new “LeFrak Class of the Month” writing contest. Each month, students visiting the LeFrak Family Gallery will have an opportunity to write an essay about their experience, completing a writing assignment that aligns with the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts. Students whose essays are selected each month will receive an award certificate and an invitation to a special Museum celebration in June; their schools will receive 200 additional invitations for families to attend the June celebration in addition to a collection of grade-appropriate science books.