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More mothers are ending up behind bars. Meeting the needs of their children is becoming a bigger priority
Anissa Gray, CNN
March 18, 2019
"The program is one of a growing number that aim to strengthen ties between American mothers serving time and their children, whose welfare faces grave risks if those family bonds weaken. The need for initiatives like these, as well as for more legal options and social services for mothers facing criminal charges, has surged, advocates say, in step with the explosive growth of the number of people in lockup -- particularly women. ... In Kansas, the Children's Discovery Center launched its Play Free initiative in partnership with the Topeka Correctional Facility, the state's only women's prison. It's modeled on the New York City program. Chicago is considering a similar move."
In the News: Kansas Children's Discovery Center uses robots as learning tool for kids
Alyssa Willetts, WIBW News
February 23, 2019
"Director of STEAM Education Caitlin Luttjohann says, "We like to introduce kiddos to technology at the earliest level so that they'll be familiar with what programming and coding is."Luttjohann says their main goal is this, "We want kids to be prepared to go into any field that they wanna be and we're here to spark interest.""
In the News: Kansas Children’s Discovery Center giving free admission to furloughed government employees
McKenzi Davis, KSNT News
January 21, 2019
"The Kansas Children's Discovery Center is giving back to families who have been out of work during the government shutdown. The discovery center is giving free admission to federal government employees until the end of the month. People can bring up to three family members during regular hours. The center said the free days give people a chance to get away from the hardships, and have fun with their families."
In the News: Top 10 things to do this week in northeast Kansas: Dec. 30, 2018-Jan. 5, 2019
Savanna Maue, Topeka Capital-Journal
December 29, 2018
"A fun balloon drop for parents who don’t want to stay up late. Families receive a breakfast buffet, participate in science activities and receive a party kit. The balloon drop is at noon."
In the News: Get ready for Noon Year's Eve!
Melissa Brunner, WIBW
December 28, 2018
"The Kansas Children's Discovery Center has an event for the younger crowd to welcome 2019. Noon Year's Eve festivities get underway at 9:30 am Monday, leading up to the big balloon drop at noon. Dene Mosier visited the Red Couch to preview the fun. Watch the video to learn what's in store - and get your tickets (they're $17 each) at kansasdiscovery.org."
In the News: Topeka gets first ever destination specialist
Hannah Brandt, KSNT
December 27, 2018
"Another one of Bowers' favorites, is the Kansas Children's Discovery Center. Dene Mosier runs the center. "We're a great place for families. Everybody comes out. It's a good time," Mosier said, "Time for families just to connect, enjoy. Kids have a lot of fun hands on learning and it's a great day."
In the News: Topeka Metro bus drivers teach kids about public transportation the fun way
Natalie Dattilio, WIBW
December 14, 2018
"Local kids are learning important lessons about public transportation from Topeka Metro bus drivers themselves! The Children's Discovery Center Thursday invited bus drivers to read to children as part of "The Pigeon Comes to Topeka: A Mo Willems Exhibit." They read "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus," written by Mo Willems, who the exhibit is inspired by.”
In the News: Comedy is comedy for kids and adults, an interview with Mo Willems
Gina Kaufmann, KCUR
December 13, 2018
Gina Kaufmann, KCUR: We’re talking with Mo Willems, he’s a children’s book author and illustrator, also an animator. He’s coming from a background in comedy and Sesame Street and he has an exhibit right now: The Pigeon Comes to Topeka! A Mo Willems Exhibit on display in Topeka at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center through January 4. And Mo, tell me more about that exhibit. It’s character driven, right? | Mo Willems: Yes. This is a children’s museum exhibit, so everything is physical. You can play with it there are games, you draw, there’s a hot dog tosser and there’s a lot of animation stuff, learning how to make drawings, learning how persistence of vision works. It’s something that I worked with the museum in Pittsburgh for several years on and it’s just been a joy because it is interactive. You know, I make that sure all the characters I create are designed so that they’re simple enough for a five year old to draw them reasonably. I really want my work not just to be read but to be played. And in order to get kids to draw, grown-ups have to draw as well. Because parents forget that they’re cool, but if a parent sits there and doodles, a kid will. Everything in this exhibit is really made to get both the kids and the grown-ups in the kid’s life, get them together, playing together, drawing and creating together.
Power Players: Retired physician seeks to help health of Topeka’s young people
Carolyn Kaberline, Topeka Capital-Journal
November 18, 2018
"She is in her second year of serving as the board chair of the Kansas Discovery Children’s Discovery Center, whose current focus is developing programs and services so all children — even the medically fragile, those who are at risk, refugee children and those whose mothers are incarcerated — can participate. One of those programs, called Puzzle Pieces, serves children on the autism spectrum.”
State of Education looks at Topeka’s cradle through career successes, challenges
Katie Moore, Topeka Capital-Journal
November 28, 2018
"Last summer, the museum hosted Camp Kindergarten, a five-week program that simulated a kindergarten classroom. Mosier said an important component was that parents sat in on the classroom. Readiness is about more than a student knowing their letters and numbers, she said, and includes social and emotional development.
Before entering kindergarten, students from an impoverished home have a 30 million word gap, said Sarah Sharp, general director of early childhood and elementary education for Topeka Public Schools, meaning they are exposed to 30 million less words than a child from an affluent home.”