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Dave Becker, second from left, was honored as June 11, 2013, as one of 12 "Champions of Change" at the White House.
On Tuesday, June 11, the White House and the Institute for Museum and Library Services honored Dave Becker, Senior Manager of Learning Experiences at the Chicago Zoological Society, as one of 12 “Champions of Change.” The event focused on honorees that are providing powerful learning experiences, and on libraries and museums that make a difference for their neighborhoods and for the nation.

For the past 12 years, Becker and his team have consistently expanded the boundaries of early childhood environmental education within Brookfield Zoo and within the national and international Zoo and Aquarium community.

Each Champions of Change event has a different theme, and the theme of the June 11 event was Creating Lifelong Learners. CZS joined 11 other organizations—nominated by the Institute of Museum and Library Services—that highlight library and museum contributions to early childhood learning and learning in science, technology, engineering and math as well as critical work in digital literacy and immigration services.

The organizations were also cited for reaching young children and their families with early learning opportunities; offering exciting experiences for teens to develop skills in science, technology, engineering and math; and helping immigrants learn English and pursue citizenship and providing services for hard-to-reach populations so that everyone can succeed in school and in life.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature groups of Americans – individuals, businesses and organizations – who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.