The Bronx Children’s Museum will be awarded a $7,500 community grant by the Ronald McDonald House Charities New York Tri-State Area on Saturday, September 23.
The RMHC NYTSA check presentation, hosted by the New York Tri-State Area McDonald’s Owner Operators Association, will also include an opportunity to tour and learn more about the Bronx Children’s Museum’s ‘Waters On the Go’ program.
Waters on the Go features a retrofitted school bus that contains a mobile interactive environmental science exhibit designed to help pre-K through third-grade teachers supplement their science and social studies lessons.
The event will take place at 11 a.m. at P.S. 55, 450 St. Paul’s Place.
Expected to attend are elected officials, community leaders, McDonald’s owner/operators, and Natalie Wood, Bronx Children’s Museum program manager.
The museum is without walls at present, with the brick and mortar museum expected to open in late 2018, according to Chris Perry, executive director of RMHC NYTSA.
“As it exists now, it is a specially equipped bus that brings certain exhibits to community-based organizations, schools, shelters and libraries,” Perry said. “It also goes to festivals and parks as well.”
Since 2012, RMHC NYTSA has funded the Bronx Museum ‘without walls’ with about $42,500 in community grant money, Perry said.
The money not only helps the museum operate the bus, but helped finance publishing books such as ‘Little Friends’ and ‘Little Friends of Orchard Beach,’ both available on amazo
To provide the Bronx’s children with an interactive place to learn and play, BCM is developing with the city 13,000 square feet of space in a city-owned building scheduled to open in late 2018.
It is located on public parkland just steps away from Yankee Stadium on the Harlem River in the South Bronx. The facility will serve nearly 75,000 children each year and will feature:
• Bright, open theme-based areas (e.g., science, arts/culture and the early learner)
• Age-appropriate permanent and temporary interactive activities exploring the arts, culture, community, natural resources, greening, energy and the richness of the Bronx
• Flexible studio space for community gatherings, meetings and birthdays
• Offices for BCM educators and administration
To date, BCM has secured $9 million in New York City funding, $3 million in private funding and $4 million from the state assembly for bricks-and-mortar funding to develop and open the museum’s facility. BCM has a minimum interactive exhibit activity budget of $3.5 million.
One of the people who’s strongly affiliated with the museum is Sonia Manzano, a semi-retired actress who played Maria on Sesame Street from 1971 to 2015, according to Perry.
Raised in the South Bronx, Manzano’s story influenced the book, ‘Little Friends of the High Bridge,’ because she grew up in the High Bridge area.
“Ronald McDonald House Charities has a community grant program where we give money away to other nonprofits to benefit children,” Perry said.
The Bronx Children’s Museum seeks to inspire children from infancy to 9 years of age and their families/caregivers to learn about themselves, their surroundings and to become caregivers of the planet.