BINGHAMTON, NY – With schools closed today for the new Juneteenth holiday, the Discovery Center commemorated the day with messages of freedom and peace.

Visitors to the children’s museum celebrated Juneteenth by reading books and engaging in arts and crafts projects.

A diverse group of children also enjoyed the museum’s collection of exhibits, such as the doctor’s office and the grocery store.

Executive Director Brenda Myers says the goal is to communicate the ideals of the holiday, freedom and peace, in a way that’s easily understandable by kids of all ages.

“What is the story for children, what are the meaningful activities, and we do that for all of our national holidays. We also have a preschool program so we’ve been talking about that as curriculum for three, four, and five year olds; how do we tell the story? How do we let them know those traditions and honors that are built into this particular holiday? So it’s definitely part of the Discovery Center’s mission,” she said.

By crafting friendship bracelets and peace flags, the colors of Juneteenth came alive for kids as they listened together to the stories of liberation and the history of their country.

A year ago after President Biden signed a bill establishing this day as a federal holiday, and it has become what some are calling the nation’s second Independence Day.