Learning, Learning, Everywhere!

If you’ve come to the Museum in the last two weeks, you have surely seen the double-decker bus placed at the front desk. The bus, filled with the smiling faces of drawn children, asks for donations of just $1 to fund a field trip for under-served students.

Some guests have asked how their $1 will fund a field trip. Well, each dollar donation is put into our Title 1 Scholarship Fund that will cover the admission cost of up to 35 students AND include a bus stipend–a major financial barrier for under-served schools.

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A lot of guests donated but didn’t know that we do anything in the community besides tours! In addition to thanking those guests for their generous donations, we’d like to provide answers about what we do in our community. We are not just at 301 S. Euclid Street, we’re everywhere!

Our Museum is a public and private partnership between us and Friends of the Children’s Museum, a non-profit fundraising organization that supports our educational programming, exhibits, and special Museum projects! Our Museum also applies for grants, special funding money that we use to create programs like the following:

Science Meets Art Saturdays by SoCal Edison — Science Meets Art Saturdays is a day dedicated to families honing in their scientific inquiry skills with a guided, hands-on STEAM activity.
Cal Recycle by Cal Recycle — Museum Educators go into first grade classrooms in the La Habra City School District and teach students about the importance of recycling, it’s effect on our earth, and do a fun recycling planter activity.
Lil’ Innovators by Institute for Museum and Library Services — Lil’ Innovators seeks to increase preschoolers’ essential science, technology, engineering , and math ability while providing professional development for La Habra Early Childhood Development teachers and Museum Educators.

[Image description: Children painting with shaving cream in our Family Art Center; Person creating a Police Station for our Box City in our Family Art Center]

These are just some of our programs that have been generously funded by outside donors, just like yourself! If you donated even $1 to our Fund-a-Field-Trip Bus, you’ve made it possible for students from ALL OVER Orange County and Los Angeles to come to our Museum and learn through play! Even $1 can make a HUGE difference and open a world of possibilities for a child.

Interested in donating to the Children’s Museum at La Habra? Click here!

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Spotlight on Miss Chrissie!

Hi everyone! Hopefully you’ve had a chance to join Miss Chrissie in Little Learners, our mini-class that’s been offered here at the museum over the summer. In honor of recent National Intern day (July 26th) and Miss Chrissie’s last week, here’s a little bit more about our wonderful intern and Little Learners instructor!

Chrissie

What are you studying in college and what are your plans for the future?

I am a senior at the University of La Verne and I am majoring in educational studies. After I graduate in the Spring of 2019, I will get my multiple subject credential and earn a Masters in Educational Technology from La Verne as well. Since I was little I always wanted to become an elementary school teacher because I love learning and working with children. I would prefer to teach either 1st or 2nd grade but I am open to teaching older kids as well!

How did you hear about the Children’s Museum?

My mother loved this museum and told me that I visited the Children’s Museum with my preschool class. Although I do not remember much about the museum since it was a number of years ago, my mom told me that I loved playing in the toy grocery section of the museum.

Do you have any hidden skills, interests, or talents we might not know about?

I am a huge fan of the Nancy Drew mystery novels! Even though they are old fashioned, the books are so nostalgic. I own every single Nancy Drew that was written and I enjoy reading them in the summer.

What will you remember most about your time here at the Children’s Museum?

There are so many moments that I will remember about this museum. In regards to the museum in general, I admire the fact that it supports STEM-based activities and exhibits for young children. Since our classrooms are increasingly becoming STEM-focused, it helps that children are getting an introduction to science and technology before they enter the classrooms. However, what I will remember most about this museum are the children who chose to attend my sessions. I never dreamed that I would have so many enthusiastic, engaged, and excited students! The children who visited this museum really made my day when it came to this internship and I am grateful for the opportunity to introduce STEM to my “Little Learners.”

Thank you, Miss Chrissie! We’re lucky to have had such a warm, responsible, and engaging intern, and we wish you the best of luck!

Please leave a comment if you had a chance to enjoy Little Learners with Miss Chrissie!

The last Little Learners classes are this Saturday, August 11th at 10:30/11:30. Included with museum admission and FREE for museum members.

For more information about our internship program, please visit http://lhcm.org/410/Volunteer-Internships or email ksmith@lahabraca.gov.

Cultural Exhibits at the Children’s Museum

Visitors may have noticed that our last two exhibits have been cultural exhibits that have focused on the lives of people who live in different parts of the world. During the first half of the year we housed the AWESOME Freeman Foundation’s traveling exhibit, Children of Hangzhou. Our current exhibit, Lindo Mexico, focuses on the beauty and culture of our Southern neighbors. But we may find ourselves asking, “why at a children’s museum?” Well, I’m here to answer that question and more!

First, let’s talk about museums and their purpose in society! All museums have one goal in common: to serve the public good. When we think of museums, we may think of fancy places where we have to put our hands behind our back to observe archived collections from a distance–but not all museums are like this! Children’s museums break that barrier and provide a space for experiential three-dimensional learning through play. The value of education is still high and there are endless learning opportunities that our visitors experience in a hands-on and engaging way!

So why cultural exhibits at children’s museums?

Like all museums, the Children’s Museum at La Habra exists to serve the public good, which means presenting opportunities for guests to have positive cultural experiences within our walls. Our goal is to foster understanding, increase awareness, and encourage respect for other cultures by representing them positively. Children (and adults, too!) not only socially benefit from positive cultural exchanges but research shows that “more diverse environments increase all students’ level of critical thinking, raise levels of their knowledge and awareness, challenge assumptions, and raise levels of their contact connections and communications” (Farhadi, 3). Children who learn about diversity and cultural differences at an early age are not only learning about the world around them and how to celebrate difference, but they are learning about who they are and their position in our global community!

The cultural exhibits we’ve housed in our Museum this past year have not only connected our guests to the world around them, but they have connected us to our guests. We have heard older guests reminiscing on their childhoods in Hangzhou, listened as parents and children sang the regional songs of their home states in Mexico, and watched as people smiled seeing bits of their own lives represented in our exhibits. What a joy it has been to expose our community to the beautiful multicultural world around them and, as a Museum, learn about the music, art, and dance of different cultures.

We hope that by opening our doors to the celebration of diversity, guests will leave with open hearts and minds and a new perspective on what it means to live in such a diverse world.

Additional resources on children’s museums, celebrating diversity, and cultural exposure:
The Benefits of Understanding Cultural Diversity in Education by Maliha Farhadi
How to Teach Children about Cultural Awareness and Diversity by PBS
What is empathy and how do you cultivate it? by NBC News: Better
Children’s Museums: Purposes, Practices, and Play by Margie I Mayfield.