We have worked to identify critical impact areas where a Children’s Museum will make a profound and enduring impact on Sauk County’s children and their caregivers.
Community Need: Support for Early Childhood Education and School Readiness – Research finds that the fastest rate of brain development occurs prior to age four, before the start of formal education, yet relatively few resources are directed to this age group. Baraboo kindergarten teachers report that one-third of children come to school unprepared to learn and national research shows that as much as half of school failure may be due to gaps in school readiness before children transition to kindergarten.
BCM Response – The Baraboo Children’s Museum will increase opportunities and experiences that support school readiness and celebrate the learning styles and varied abilities of young children. The Museum will serve as a hub for caregivers, leveraging our own staff’s expertise in early learning as well as that of collaborative partner agencies to offer educational resources, programs and services.
Community Need: Support for Sauk County Schools – A recent study noted that at graduation, a youth would have spent, at most, only 9% of his or her lifetime in school. Sauk County schools play a vital role in the education of our children, but a great deal of learning happens outside the walls of our state’s formal learning institutions.
BCM Response – Museum programs offered to preschool children and early elementary children (Kindergarten through 3rd grade) extend and enrich classroom curriculum, support the state academic standards and encourage children to use their imagination and creativity. Most importantly, they make learning required curriculum a joyful experience increasing passion and confidence across content areas.
Community Need: STEM Competencies – Efforts to interest youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focus heavily on older school children, while studies show that the optimal time to nurture positive attitudes toward these subjects is prior to 4th grade (age 9).
BCM Response – The Museum will offer new and renovated exhibits (air, water, programming, coding, engineering) and programming that will immerse young children in STEM concepts. The Museum is uniquely positioned to reach early learners, directly and significantly impacting long-term interest, confidence and further pursuit of education and careers in STEM field
Community Need: Access to Quality Arts Programming – Through art, a child expands his abilities to interact with the world and develops a new set of skills for self-expression and communication. Unfortunately, a focus on academic testing and budget constraints have resulted in a dramatic reduction of arts programming in our schools.
BCM Response – The Museum will offer an arts gallery, theater stage, and music room creating a nearly 3,000-square-foot art experience that will fully immerse children in the creative process. Providing opportunities to experience the arts will design and build their own masterpieces, as well as receiving inspiration from visiting local artists.
Community Need: 21st Century Skills – To compete in a world economy that increasingly demands “thinking outside the box,” Americans must become more adept at 21st century skills – problem- solving, creativity, self-direction, critical thinking, invention, innovation and collaboration.
BCM Response – The Children’s Museum offers rich and authentic content, dedicated `and knowledgeable staff with deep expertise, and a safe, trusted setting for families, all of which invite and support effective learning of 21st century concepts. All Museum experiences and programs encourage children to generate creative ideas, discover new and inventive approaches to problem- solving and the use of imagination, invention and innovation through play
Community Need: Health and Wellness – childhood obesity continues to rise in the country. Increased “screen time,” limited outdoor play opportunities and poor nutritional choices are among the factors that negatively impact health.
BCM Response – The Museum will offer multiple physical play opportunities, including outdoor experiences area and a distinctive Sauk County-focused climbing structure. A visit to the Children’s Museum will promote active play that encourages children to move and explore their world.
Community Need: Serving the Most Vulnerable Children and Families – The Museum’s staff and board have long been committed to the belief that all children, regardless of their socioeconomic background, should have access to the Museum experience. Studies tell us that lower-income children are faced with greater achievement gaps when they enter formal schooling, compared to their more-affluent peers.
BCM Response – To reach children most in need, we will make full use of the space available within the Museum, Provide school group programming efforts to low-income schools and communities, as well as provide programs to schools that are 50% or greater Title I and will continue to offer each participating child a scholarship family membership to extend the learning beyond one free visit.
The Baraboo Children’s Museum supports Baraboo’s youngest learners by:
building essential early learning skills.
teaching math, science, agriculture, and literacy concepts.
celebrating and providing access to the arts.
fostering creativity, innovation and critical thinking.
promoting good health and active play.
Additionally, BCM is committed to strengthening families and supporting parents, engaging the wisdom and resources of our diverse community, all while instilling in children a genuine love of learning that lasts a lifetime.