Posted April 23, 2020
A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
It has been over a month since Kidzeum closed its doors to the public due to COVID-19. In that time our community, state and world have been affected by the virus’s direct and indirect impact. It’s a scenario most of us couldn’t have imagined we would be grappling with.
Even though Sangamon County has been relatively lucky, this brutal virus has affected some families very personally, including my own. As of this writing, I am waiting to hear if my daughter, who works in a healthcare facility in Iowa with active COVID-19 cases, has contracted the virus.
It has also fundamentally altered the most basic routines of our daily lives. I know I certainly didn’t expect to be wearing a mask to go grocery shopping, defending my six-foot radius of safety on the nature trail, and giving air hugs to my parents.
The weeks and months ahead will continue to challenge us, but a crisis also has a way of bringing us ‘round to celebrate each day—and each other. Who would have imagined the joy a “drive by” birthday party could bring? And doesn’t every breath of sunny, fresh air seem more delightful than ever? And for those of you who are trying to stay professional on Zoom calls while your children run amuck in the background and your dog is barking up the neighborhood—hang in there. And breathe. And enjoy those extra snuggles you get in the middle of the day. What a story you will have to tell!
Kidzeum is hanging in there with you, and I want to tell you more about what our team has been doing during our temporary closure. From creating online STEAM activities to assembling and delivering science kits to families in need, Kidzeum is working harder than ever to serve our community, adapt to a changing environment and prepare for the future. (Read more below.)
Stay healthy and stick with us! We can’t wait to see you at Kidzeum.
Kidzeum Executive Director
WHAT WE'VE BEEN DOING FOR OUR COMMUNITY
The tireless staff of Kidzeum are working from home (sometimes with children in their laps) to develop e-learning content that is posted each day to our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram and YouTube) and website. This content includes STEAM activity how-to pages, videos, blogs, lists of activity ideas and more.
We have also partnered with Access to Care to provide science kits to low-income children in Springfield. The kits contain easy activities for children to do independently, or with their families.
In addition to creating our own weekly content, Kidzeum is partnering with other local organizations. Jamison Books goes live on Facebook for story time, art and games. Every Saturday, Springfield Dance teaches a virtual dance class on our social media channels.
Kidzeum is currently working to transition as much content to an online format as possible, including programs, meet-ups and possibly even summer camps, if necessary.
We are also planning for what re-opening may look like, and what we can do to make Kidzeum as safe as possible for our families. We will have an extensive cleaning schedule, an abundance of signage about social distancing and other health precautions and will likely move to timed ticketing in order to limit the number of people in the building at any given time. We are also looking for ways to do more of our programs outdoors during good weather. Stay tuned as we work on plans… But in the meantime, we want to hear from you!
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND WIN A FREE MEMBERSHIP!
How can we best serve your family during this difficult time? What would make you feel comfortable re-entering Kidzeum, once it deemed is safe to do so? Click here to take our survey and tell us what you think (respondents will be entered to win a free Kidzeum membership, or one-year extension for current members!).
A SPECIAL NOTE TO OUR MEMBERS
We appreciate your hanging in there with us as we navigate this challenging time. Please rest assured that you will not lose your membership benefits during our temporary closure. All memberships will be extended for the duration of time that Kidzeum is closed. We are also looking for new ways to best serve our members during this time, to ensure you are still getting the most out of your Kidzeum membership. Have thoughts about how we can better serve you? Drop us a line or take our survey to let us know!
LOOK FOR NEW CONTENT ONLINE IN THE COMING WEEKS
Since we are not able to move forward with launching our newest exhibit (Bees, Birds, Butterflies & Blooms) as planned, we are excited to begin sharing online learning content that relates to what kids and families would be learning in the exhibit! Keep an eye on our social media pages and website, beginning April 25th and continuing throughout the month of May, for e-learning content that teaches kids all about our special pollinator friends!
YOUR SUPPORT HELPS US MEET COMMUNITY NEEDS
We are so grateful for our members and supporters—we wouldn’t be here without you! Like our fellow small businesses, Kidzeum is greatly challenged by huge revenue losses and a slow-down in giving. It’s hard for us to ask for donations during such uncertain times, but we also know that Kidzeum is a vital asset to our community, and we want to be there for you now, and well into the future. As we approach our newest global day of giving, Giving Tuesday Now, on May 5th, we are humbly asking those of you who can give, to please do so. If it is the right time for your family, and if you are able, we ask that you please consider giving to Kidzeum or fundraising on Facebook as we navigate the challenges ahead and seek ways to best serve our community into the future.