Page 67 - March2017

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he idea for a children’s museum was initially conceived by
Nancy Schultz during the first few years after Hurricane Ike
struck in 2008. “When the city was rebuilding, it looked
good, but no one was coming,” Nancy remembers. She
noticed many buildings around town that had been beautifully
repaired but still sat empty, and “I began wondering about what
would fill those spaces.” That wonder led to the thought of a
museum specifically geared towards younger kids, prompted
also by her 30-year career as a first grade teacher.
Slowly the idea gained momentum and support from the
community, as well as the confidence of other local businesses
and organizations. The museum received several grants
including the UTMB President’s Cabinet Award, operating
funds were provided by the Moody Foundation, and the
Mary Moody Northen Endowment donated the space beneath
the Moody Museum.
Officially opened on July 10, 2014, the museum itself was
designed organically to fit the space and reflects not only the
generosity of the Galveston community but also the diversity of
the local culture. Every available nook and cranny of the ground
floor of the century-old mansion was utilized, and several
of the play stations were
created using the expertise
of the donating entity—
Johnny Smecca of Galveston
Restaurant Group donated
the Pizza Parlor, complete
with “brick oven” and red &
white checkered tablecloth,
Texas A&M Outreach built an
interactive fishing boat with
all the necessary props, Island
East End Theatre Company
donated a stage, costumes,
and a puppet theatre, and
the Galveston Noon Optimists
Club donated a Lego wall.
Other activities and
adventures include a Kids Clinic where kids can play doctor or
veterinarian, a Ramp Room that engages the laws of physics, a
wind tunnel, an art room, and much more. Each is delightfully
different, yet one central tenet defines the museum’s purpose.
“We want this to be a place where children can freely explore
and self-direct their play,” Nancy says. “As an educator, I know
that education in schools is direct and prescribed—there is
one outcome. Here, kids can find different solutions and build
on what they did before, they get to decide how they want to
interact. So many toys are limited in scope, we want kids to think
critically, to be creative.”
In addition to providing a wonderland of interactive education
for individual children that is deftly disguised as fun, Galveston
Children’s Museum also seeks to invoke a similar, positive
influence on the community. “We want to teach the community
the importance of play, and in doing that we want to ensure that
the museum is completely accessible and available to all families,”
says Nancy.
Through their Everyone Plays Program, the museum is free to
the public on the second Thursday of every month from 4:30pm-
7:30pm, and it also provides free passes to other non-profit
organizations that serve children such as the Shriners Hospital.
Galveston Children’s Museum
is located on the first floor of
the Moody Mansion, 2628 Broadway Avenue; open Tuesday
through Saturday from 9:30am-5pm and Sunday 12pm-5pm
(Closed Mondays during the school year to accommodate larger
school groups and field trips). Day passes, Family and Individual
Memberships available. Free Parking.
Galveston Children’s Museum
By Kimber Fountain
Interactive Edutainment
Pizza Parlor
Fishing Boat
Lego Play Area
MARCH 2017 |
Out & About |