We are working to open a Children’s Museum in South Bend and we need your help! At present, the closest STEAM-based children’s museum is nearly an hour drive from South Bend. We know that open-ended, interactive play is essential for young developing minds, and is particularly critical for economically disadvantaged children.
Our capital campaign will help us cover the build-out of our space, exhibit development, and other start-up expenses so that we can open our doors in spring of 2020.
We are a team of moms and educators who have worked for the past 18 months to bring a STEAM-based children’s museum to South Bend. Our efforts began after Emilie and her husband Mark lost their young son, Finn Sebastian Golitko, very suddenly in 2018. Finn loved children’s museums, and Emilie loved the chance to engage with and learn from her curious, creative, kind little boy. She and the rest of the team want to bring similarly enriching parent-child interactions to the families of South Bend, in Finn’s memory.
The Children’s Museum of South Bend exists to provide opportunities for children, families, and the community to connect and engage in activities that foster meaningful learning and growth.
We believe in the natural curiosity, creativity, and intellectual potential of ALL children, and that all children deserve to nourish and stimulate that potential through engaging, open-ended play. We further believe that investment in our children and families is a necessary component of a strong and vital community.
In order to foster meaningful learning & growth for our children and families, we offer interactive, open-ended play opportunities and high quality, STEAM-based programming. We seek to:
- Spark the imagination
- Cultivate a sense of wonder in the natural world
- Act as a catalyst for engaged learning, discovery, and exploration
- Provide opportunities for multi-generational, cross-cultural interactions and partnerships
- Foster a sense of community in young children, as well as families and caregivers
- Serve our racially, socio-economically, linguistically, and culturally diverse community
In the past year we have formed a board, received 501c3 status, reached 1000 followers on Facebook, developed our business plan, and found a location. We have a three phased strategy to create the museum that our children deserve and that South Bend can sustain. In Phase I, we will open a small space in spring of 2020. This will enable us to begin to offer activities and programming to children, and to foster partnerships with other local organizations and community groups. It will also allow us to prove our viability to potential community investors so that we can grow towards Phase II and III, in which we will offer significantly more space for professionally designed exhibits.