HICKORY CORNERS, Mich. (AP) — The Gilmore Car Museum is offering free admission for all kindergarten through 12th grade school groups as part of an effort to increase a commitment to education.
The southwestern Michigan museum recently announced the "Gilmore Promise," which also includes special discounted family rates and extending the youth admission rate to those up to age 17. Organized educational groups can make arrangements for free admission.
"We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to all schools and all school districts and educational groups," Fred Colgren, Director of Education, said in a statement. Colgren recently joined the Gilmore Car Museum staff following his retirement from Kalamazoo Central High School.
The museum is located in Hickory Corners, about 20 miles northeast of Kalamazoo. In 2013, the museum said it hosted about 2,000 students. It hopes to draw more "by making the heritage of the American automobile accessible to everyone," Colgren said.
The museum's educational programs use the collection to teach students about the history of transportation in America, connecting them with the heritage and social impact of the automobile. The programs incorporate geography, math and science.
The Gilmore Car Museum campus has seen some significant upgrades in 2013, including the opening of the Model A Ford Museum. Fashioned after a Ford dealership from 1928, the new facility is dedicated to the vehicle built in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
The collection at the Gilmore Car Museum includes steam and electric cars of the 1890s, and classics from the 1930s to 1960s. Displays include "The Other Motor City," where Kalamazoo-built automobiles such as the Checker Cab, are showcased.