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Creative Collaborations Provide Support for Children and Families while Museum Progresses Towards Opening Outdoor Space

Posted on: Jun 22nd, 2020

If you’re looking for something to keep your kids busy, the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac (CMFDL), is taking its mission on the road; providing playful activities for homes, backyards and neighborhoods. With the increasing support from financial and volunteer partners, the Museum’s “Fun From Home” program, launched in March, now includes take-home fun kits, coordination of online video material, educational project mailers, and the newly launched “Brains and Body BINGO”. While families are doing their part to combat the spread of COVID-19, the museum’s new programming is in response to feedback from parents, teachers, counselors and child development specialists. 

“The results of our “Summer Needs Survey” identified an overwhelming need for both physical activity and “connections with others”. With the support of clinicians from Agnesian Healthcare, a member of SSM Health, we created “Brains and Body BINGO”. This family friendly activity encompasses total wellness by encouraging physical activity, resilience building, literacy achievements, exploration of the outdoors, abstract thinking and social teamwork skills,” said Elizabeth Sande, staff member of CMFDL’s Innovation Team. 

Children from the Klapperich and Sande families engage in “Brains and Body BINGO”, a new program provided by the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac, in partnership with Agnesian Healthcare, a member of SSM Health. For more information, visit cmfdl.org

While most children’s museums across the nation remain closed due to the risks and unknowns associated with COVID-19, the demand for their programs, supporting the social, emotional, physical and intellectual development of children is on the rise. Yet, revenue loss from their cancelled or postponed fundraising events, admissions, field trips, and memberships is making it a challenge to meet the needs. 

“Fortunately, we have obtained offsetting funds from local, state and national sources such as the Payroll Protection Program, CARES funding, Together FDL, and donors, including new ones to help us through the last several months. However, to survive the next several months, we have been forced to significantly reduce our staff,” commented Andrea Welsch, CMFDL’s executive director. 

CMFDL’s vision has always focused the organization on providing a safe place for all children to learn about their community and culturally diverse world. Recently additional resources have been added to their website to aid parents and caretakers in raising understanding, sensitive and supportive children. 

“With so many challenges, due understanding the pandemic and racial inequities in the country, it is imperative that our communities focus on our next generation, and provide relief from the heavy pressures of the media and negativity,” added Welsch. 

Working with CMFDL’s board of directors, a reopening task force and local department of public health officials, the museum is making progress towards reopening its outdoor space. In addition, donors and volunteers are working on new exhibit development. “Our goal is to reopen our facility better than ever, giving families something to look forward to. We are eager to announce more details on these plans in the coming weeks,” added Andrea Welsch, CMFDL’s executive director. 

Ingrid Sande, spots a bird’s nest as part of “Brains and Body BINGO”, a new program provided by the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac, in partnership with Agnesian Healthcare, a member of SSM Health. For more information, visit cmfdl.org

For more information about the Museum’s Support Resources for Parents, “Fun from Home” and “Brains and Body BINGO”, or to make a donation, go to cmfdl.org.

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