Let’s face it, Northeast Ohio has many more cloudy, rainy, cold, or snowy days than sunny and warm ideal outdoor play days, and that’s okay! We all live here for one reason or another and I, personally, love our city. I grew up here and am now raising my own family here. There’s just one thing missing- an indoor place to take my kids for a fun-filled, energy-expending day. This is particularly true throughout the long winter months.
Sure, there are play areas at local fast food restaurants or even Summit Mall, but I don’t want to load up my kids (or myself) with greasy, preservative-filled fries and burgers for a 45-minute romp at the play area. Instead, there’s a handful of us that envision something much, much better…
Picture walking into a small world designed to teach, entertain and inspire kids. All kids. Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and even elementary-age kids. With each engaging area, kids are encouraged to explore, touch, listen, learn, move and shake. Maybe they’re tinkering with machines; maybe they’re creating their own nutritious lunch at the café, or maybe they’re splashing at a water table learning how the Earth’s water moves. Whether with music, art, gears and buttons, or a trip to the pint-sized grocery store, kids can spend hours engaging in interactive, educational play instead of climbing repeatedly through a tunnel and sliding down a slide.
I could get into the statistics about educating kids early in life to reduce the economic liability of these kids when they become young adults, but the bottom line is, there’s a need for this in Akron. And based on the number of people sitting on the benches around the play area at Summit Mall on any given rainy day, I’d say a lot of other parents feel the same way.
How to Get Involved
Since word has gotten out about the emergence of a Children’s Museum in Akron, there’s been an amazing response from parents, even grandparents, and believe it or not, people without any kids telling us what a great idea this is and wanting to get involved. We appreciate the excitement this is creating and yes, you can get involved! We have 2 ways you can help right now.
- Through June 30, we’re holding a logo design contest to come up with the future look of the museum. We are a group of volunteers giving our time and resources to get this up and running, so if you know any talented graphic designers or artists willing to do the same, please pass the word along… quickly. Details are on our website www.akronkids.org/logo-contest.
- Financial support is and always will be a key success factor in any non-profit organization. As we embark on this journey, we need the community to support us financially. The 20 people working on this are volunteering their time and services (and dollars), but as we quickly move further along this road, we will need budgets to pay for architectural renderings and all the other start-up costs involved. Help us build our case by supporting our efforts. A strong response from everyone will speak volumes when we pitch this need to the organizations that can grant us much larger amounts. Tax deductible donations can be made on our website www.akronkids.org/support.
So for now, maybe I’ll catch you at Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s or the mall on a cold, windy day. But one day, I hope to see you at the Museum.