The Discovery Museums served a record number of visitors last year, according to an announcement by the nonprofit institution that said close to 180,000 people took part in activities at its Main Street buildings and in school classrooms throughout New England. An emphasis on reaching out to families that face financial, developmental, or cultural barriers to visiting the museums enabled about 38,000 people to visit at free or reduced cost through the Open Door Connections program, the organization’s chief executive, Neil H. Gordon, stated in the update posted on its website, www.discoverymuseums.org. Open Door Connections events include Free Friday Night Fun, free evenings for families with children on the autism spectrum, and free events for families with children with hearing loss. The organization also provides memberships and passes for families through a variety of social service organizations, Gordon noted.

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