More than just a place to play
Submitted by admin on Thu, 06/14/2018 - 19:34
Recently-arrived Somali children dashed around the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota with excitement, finding new and imaginative exhibits to explore while their mothers found a much needed space to connect and build community in a new home. One of our program goals for new families in Mankato is the facilitation of sustainable social connections for refugees, and Mankato Refugee Services staff realized that the museum would be a wonderful resource for families with children. Our staff members Nancy Altmann and Habiba Rashid reached out to museum outreach staff to see if the museum would be open to scheduling special welcome events for refugee families and received an enthusiastic welcome. As museum Community Outreach and Impact Director Sue Larsen said, “The Children’s Museum is for all families. The board and founding mothers wanted the museum to be open and welcoming for all families and we want refugee families to know that it’s a place for them.” MCC staff scheduled three outings to the museum and the same group of 7 Somali moms and their 25 children attended. MCC coordinated transportation and carpools and worked with museum staff to assist each family in applying for a free museum membership and making sure that they felt comfortable getting to and visiting the museum on their own.you can make a donation here.