As I was leaving work last Monday evening, I was amazed to discover the Children’s Museum buzzing with activity. It was our Academia de Lunes organized by CMEE’s Director of Community Outreach, Leah Oppenheimer. During this “Monday Academy,” Latinx families can access an array of programs designed to meet the educational needs of their children every Monday evening during the summer.
I was so impressed with how every inch of the Museum was in use. There were kids working on coding projects in the lobby while an art class took place in one classroom, a cooking class was happening in another, and parents were participating in an ESL class in a fourth room. Meanwhile, over a dozen young children played in the Museum’s exhibitions.
In addition to offering programs for underserved families at CMEE, we’ve been partnering with other organizations this summer to bring learning through play directly into the community. During the week for example, you can find our educators at Southampton’s Snow White Laundromat and in Riverside at our “pop-up” museum at 271 Flanders Road, which is presented in collaboration with Long Island Head Start and the Town of Southampton. We’ve also been excited to work with East End Hospice’s Camp Good Grief and the Retreat this summer.
As much as my children enjoy coming to the Children’s Museum, what is most fulfilling about working here is the tremendous difference we can make for families with limited resources. Seeing children whose parents are working 80 hours each week this summer have the chance to play while doing their laundry is transformative. If you’re interested in learning more about the Museum’s community initiatives, please email or call me at 631.537.8250.