Learning Through Play
The Children’s Discovery Museum provides the central Maine region with a critical and unique resource. In today’s fast-paced world, true play (where the child is in charge and fully engaged) is often lost and underappreciated as an integral aspect of childhood. Children’s museums provide an opportunity for educationally rich play; these museums are a destination, a community resource, and an educational lab; these museums are inspiring, engaging facilities that people want to visit time and time again; and these museums are innovative, testing and practicing different methods of informal education and sharing best practices. Children’s museums are a key component to a well-rounded community that values children and families and are known nationwide to be a significant component to quality of place for young families.
By relocating to Waterville, just 25 miles up I-95, the Children’s Discovery Museum positions itself in a vibrant and burgeoning central Maine city while maintaining proximity to the Augusta community. Historic partnerships with Augusta-based entities, such as the Viles Arboretum and the First Amendment Museum, will continue to thrive while new collaboration in the Waterville area will bolster our expansion. Waterville has an especially vibrant arts and cultural sector, which we are thrilled to join. Waterville Creates!, the Opera House, the Public Library, Maine Film Center, and Colby Art Museum are all natural and complementary partners. The Alfond Youth Center and Inland Hospital’s 5210 Let’s Go! Program focus primarily on gross motor physical activity, which is an perfect pairing with our hands-on science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) focus and imaginative, child-guided, free play approach.
The big move north is setting the stage for the Museum to accomplish organizational professionalism at a new level. Expertly designed and constructed exhibits will provide an awe-inspiring, fresh, fun, and educational experience. The improved, expanded facilities will diversify and increase our revenue streams leading to long-term financial stability and proper capitalization. The Museum will recruit, retain, and value skilled and high-performing staff and volunteers. A more robust menu of programs will reinforce educational goals of the exhibits, provide resources for the important adults in children’s lives, and extend the museum experience into homes and classrooms. The big move north is motivated by our vision to inspire a regional focus on the importance of play for children’s well-being and foster a sense of community in the lives of central Maine youth and their families.