(Santa Rosa, CA) – While the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County’s doors are physically closed, our community involvement is more important than ever.
In lieu of our annual Circle of Innovation and Legacy Circle celebration, the Wild Oak Saddle Club and an anonymous Children’s Museum investor partnered with the Children’s Museum to feed families affected by COVID-19. Over the span of three weeks, the Saddle Club provided 370 meals for families in the Roseland School District. “We opted to use the generous sponsorship of the event to do something important for our community during this time,” said Collette Michaud, Founder and CEO.
Children’s Museum team members handed out meals to each family. One sweet boy replied to a question of how he was with a big smile and a loud, “hungry!” He added that he thought the food was delicious. “It is an honor to partner with the Children’s Museum to help feed families in need. We are forever grateful to our members for allowing us the opportunity to provide this service to our community,” said Lori Darling, General Manager of the Wild Oak Saddle Club.
In another response to the Children’s Museum being closed due to COVID-19, the team created Kit & Caboodle bags that included supplies for families to recreate our programs at home. 10% of these were given to families in need at no cost. The response to the bags was overwhelming positive and we saw a need for more. We created an additional 400 Kit & Caboodle bags using generous funding from the Farley Family Charitable Foundation allotted for scholarships to our 2020 Summer Wonder Camps, which were unfortunately cancelled. Now even more children will have the opportunity to experience the Children’s Museum this summer through these engaging kits, which include 10 experiments and activities that can be easily and safely done at home.
The Museum has increased its social media presence with resources for our audience that include videos, articles, art and science projects, and educational resources for parents who are suddenly the primary educators for their children. Our Programs team is creating activities, experiments, and videos. Until the Children’s Museum reopens, we will continue to update and add to our PLAYology playbook page which is available to all. www.cmosc.org/blog/
The Children’s Museum sees over 140,000 annual visitors. This past fiscal year included 140 School Group visits, Spring and Summer Campers, Special Event visitors, Members-only Mornings, and free Sensory Friendly Afternoon groups. Access is critical to ensure all children can play. In the past year, the Children’s Museum saw 26,000 low income visitors through our “Museums for All” and other free partnership programs which subsidize admission prices. In addition, our open-door policy provides free access when needed. In addition to admissions, we have a growing online presence with over 14,000 newsletter subscribers and thousands of followers on social media channels.
For more information, visit www.cmosc.org.