Non-profit works toward children’s museum in Sun Prairie
SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. – A pair of mom’s with education backgrounds is leading the charge for a new children’s museum in Sun Prairie.
Katey Kamoku says the focus will be on play-based learning. The former high school teacher and current preschool teacher has been taking her four children around the state to different children’s museums to see what works elsewhere. Kamoku says she saw the need in Sun Prairie as the number of families continues to grow in the area.
“We really want to make this museum accessible and inclusive and work for everyone who wants to visit,” Kamoku said.
Kamoku says the education a children’s museum could bring go beyond what’s touched on in the classroom. Starting with toddlers, she’s hoping the facility will cater to a wide span of ages and prepare all of them for the future.
“They don’t need specific skill sets. They need big-picture skill sets,” Kamoku explained. “Problem solving, being creative, looking at something in multiple different ways, and being able to try different things to find a solution, and that’s what play-based learning teaches kids.”
Kelly Nelson is also on the board of the non-profit, Explore Children’s Museum. The former elementary school teacher has five kids of her own and says the potential impact of this facility could reach far beyond Sun Prairie.
“I feel that this would be an amazing gift to all kids, that they could come in with an advantage, with some strong skills so that when they come to the classroom, they can truly embrace their education and their learning and be able to build upon it and give more of a level playing field,” Nelson said.
This fall, the group plans to launch traveling exhibits focused on toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary-aged kids. Those free exhibits will go to libraries and community centers while the non-profit continues to raise money and support for a permanent location. Nelson says it’s unclear if the museum will move into a pre-existing building or if they’ll have to build a new structure. Regardless, they’re looking to open it in 2021.
“We really believe this will help all communities, big or small,” Nelson said.
Explore Children’s Museum is looking for feedback on potential exhibits and features. If you’d like to learn more about the project, contribute to the cause, or vote on those exhibit ideas, visit explorecm.org.
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