Discovery Center Reaches Out to Families in Need, Local Businesses Pitch In
The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center is still closed, but is reaching out to serve families in need with the help of local business partners. The nonprofit children’s museum recently began delivering free educational toys and science kids to at-risk families in Topeka, and launched online resources for children with an autism spectrum disorder and Spanish-speaking families.
In the past two weeks, 104 children received surprise, free deliveries of educational toys, science kits and other items to help them learn at home. These children, whose families all have discounted Discovery Center memberships based on need, each received a bag designed just for them by the Discovery Center education team. This program will continue throughout the summer. The bags were sponsored by the Devlin Family and Vaughn Pediatric Dentistry.
A new website offers at-home activities and resources specifically designed for children with an autism spectrum disorder and their families. The website is an online extension of the museum’s Puzzle Pieces program. When the museum is open, Puzzle Pieces offers a free admission day on the second Sunday of every month for those children and their families. Storytimes, music lessons, and parent information are all available free of charge thanks to sponsorship from Target and Pediatric Associates of Topeka.
The museum has posted free educational activities online daily since closure on March 13. Two new activities posted in both English and Spanish helped launch the Descubriendo en Casa website, a place to find activities accessible to Spanish-speaking families. Videos demonstrate educational activities that can be easily and inexpensively replicated using supplies found in most homes. The videos have collectively reached more than 250,000 viewers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and the organization’s website. Videos are primarily sponsored by Evergy with additional support from Topeka Collegiate. The new bilingual videos are funded by Hill’s Pet Nutrition.