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Letter From the Executive Director

Dear <<First Name>>,

As 2014 comes to a close, I would like to take a moment to reflect on some highlights of the year.  First, let's do it by the numbers:
  • In May of 2014 the museum opened the doors to its boardwalk galleries for Playland’s Summer Season. We hosted nearly 7,000 visitors! In October we closed the season drawing more than 400 visitors at our first-ever indoor Explore-a-thon!
  • Our Museum Without Walls (MWW) program delivered 220 programs at 33 partner sites this year, reaching over 4,400 kids.  Since its inception in March of 2010, MWW has partnered with nearly 50 host sites to deliver hands-on educational enrichment programs to more than 14,000 young people throughout the county.
  • On the fundraising front, our capital campaign committee raised $1.5 million in cash and pledges towards the immediate goal of $6.4 million, the amount needed for the architectural build-out that will allow us to open the museum doors on a permanent year-round basis.  Individuals, corporations, foundations, and local businesses in Westchester and Greenwich all contributed, led by major gifts from Curry Automotive and Con Edison.
But 2014 was about more than just numbers.  When the doors to the boardwalk galleries opened in May, the reaction and interaction of visitors proved the strength of need and desire for a children’s museum in Westchester.  The KEVA planks - a simple experience building structures and artistic creations - kept visitors occupied for hours and the opportunity to build and test your own roller coaster added moments of exploration and discovery. The feedback we received was highly positive. In the paraphrased words of one mother,

“For the first time ever, I spent hours engaged in a creative activity with my teenage son, without the intrusion of outside media. It was a singularly rewarding experience.”

After taking the KEVA challenge, a little girl commented,

“Thanks for the most exciting 20 minutes of our lives….”

Several visiting parents commented on the fond memories they had of time spent at Playland when they were growing up. They were thrilled that their children would be drawn to Playland to experience the museum and now would build their own memories.

We simply could not have achieved these important milestones without your help and we are excited about the year ahead.  It will be important in 2015 that we continue our momentum, build on this year’s success, and reach our ultimate goal:  a museum that is open year-round with its full complement of exhibits and learning opportunities.  When considering your year-end giving, please think about giving a gift of joy to the children and families of our region by making a generous donation in support of the Westchester Children’s Museum.
 
        Make a secure online donation today.
 
Whether you've been following our progress for minutes, months, or years, we need each and every one of you to make Westchester Children’s Museum a reality.  No gift is too small or too large. Please join us and accept my thanks in advance.

With best wishes for the holidays and the New Year!
 
Sincerely,


Tracy R. Kay
Executive Director

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

And All That Jazz...

Professional Jazz Guitarist George Kormendi  joined students at the Yonkers YWCA  recently as part of  the Museum Without Walls (MWW) program called Jazz & Blues – Made in America.
George, having played and studied music since an early age, has a wide range of musical interests and experiences grounded in jazz and western classical music, and encompassing various world musics, particularly Hindustani (Indian) classical music, as well as popular music of different cultures.
Along with MWW’s own percussionist Barbara Allen, George added his expertise and talent to the museum’s unique musical experience.  Students learned to improvise some blue lines, sang simple three phrase blues songs, and enjoyed some cool improvisation.

Welcome, and thank you George!

Fossils and Three Little Pigs in Tarrytown...Earth, Inside & Out and STEM-azing Fun in Rye!

We’re delighted to welcome Warner Library in Tarrytown and the Osborn Elementary School in Rye to our growing family of Museum Without Walls partner sites, now numbering nearly 50.
 
In Tarrytown, some of the students participating in the library’s winter vacation week programs will play Junior Paleontologists - examining fossils of plants and animals and even making their own fossil models. Others will explore the science behind a famous fairy tale using straw, sticks and bricks to build up and blow down houses they build as part of a fascinating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activity. We’re especially grateful to Regeneron Phamaceuticals for supporting these activities.
 
From February through March in Rye, weekly museum programs with a STEM emphasis will be a part of Osborn Elementary School’s after school clubs. Using creative thinking, design and engineering skills, third to fifth graders will explore fundamentals of physics and biology, while kindergarten through second grade students will have fun with the basics of geology, energy, rocketry, and more!
WELCOME NEW BOARD MEMBERS

The Westchester Children's Museum welcomed four new board members in 2014:

Kim Jeffrey, Ossining
Kim Lang, Rye
Jon Mohraz, Rye
Laurie Wolk, Larchmont


We could not have come this far without the tireless efforts of our dedicated board!

The museum participated in the annual Mistletoe Magic street festival in downtown Rye.
CALL FOR DEDICATED EDUCATORS
The museum’s highly successful outreach program, Museum Without Walls, is experiencing growing pains. With the increasing popularity of our enrichment lessons, we need to “grow” our team of educators who, on a part-time basis, lead classes for children ages 2-12 throughout Westchester County. If you are a dedicated professional interested in taking part in this exciting opportunity, please contact program coordinator Beverly McAllister at bmcallister@discoverwcm.org with information about your background, interests, availability, and a phone number where you can be reached.
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