A Message from the CEO & Chairman
The disruptions brought about by the Covid health crisis have been felt by us all during this past year. For the Museum, the challenges have been profound, but have also confirmed the importance of the Museum’s mission to provide joyful discovery experiences that contribute to the wellbeing of children, who have been uniquely impacted during this time.
Numerous studies have shown children have fallen behind academically, suffered in terms of their mental and physical health, and regressed in their social and emotional development. For many families the pandemic also created significant financial and emotional stress. Surveys of parents have indicated they are understandably concerned about their children’s wellbeing and how they will recover from these setbacks.
Despite facing temporary closure, staff reductions and lost revenue, Museum staff applied themselves to identifying new and creative solutions that benefited families and supported revenue. New initiatives worth noting include: important work in early childhood and school readiness, innovative programs for children with special and medical needs, creation of first-time Museum programs such as April Adventure Week and Explore It Summer Camp, and the launch of the “Summer of Play” campaign which emphasized how important it is to recover the sense of joy and wonder that comes with play and in-person interaction. Highlights of this work and more are described in further detail in this report.
We are so proud to lead an institution that never stopped supporting families and children during this time; in their homes, in their schools and in their communities. When the doors were again opened, the Museum brought thousands of children and family members back to enjoy learning and play, and to have a respite from the long lockdown.
We are heartened by the resilience and joy we have seen from children during the last year when they were provided with opportunities for in-person play and discovery. We are grateful to contribute to a return to a more normal time for families and children; fostering play, joyful discovery, and learning. We are confident that our youngest explorers, discoverers, scientists, artists, performers, and makers will bounce back strongly, and ultimately thrive over the next year and beyond.
Carole Charnow David Healy
President & CEO Board Chair