What the Community is Saying
We are encouraged by the outpouring of responses to our survey! Please keep them coming!
Below is a sampling of some of the wonderful feedback we have received from
our survey question:
"Do you feel that the Fredericksburg area needs a children's museum of its own? If so, please tell us why."
"Anything that enriches the lives of children and adds to their education and positive experiences is beneficial not only to the kids themselves but the community as well."
"With the requirements placed on the public schools today, I feel any way of encouraging children to think "outside the box" will help their critical thinking skills as well as their creativity."
"The closest one that I know of is in Richmond, and while it may be a nice museum, it is not accessible to some because of the drive. A local museum would encourage people to support local business, allow for those who don't have transportation to use the bus system, and would also make the learning possibilities of the museum more accessible on a regular basis."
"Why have to go to other cities for a Children's Museum, when it would be lovely to have a museum in Fredericksburg that could be visited often and supported locally."
"An attractive, well designed museum enhances a community and affords many opportunities for expanding the learning experiences of every child. It can also be allied with the local educational systems and creative teachers to expand their academic efforts."
"I think that children who would not ordinarily get the opportunity to go to Richmond or DC for these experiences may have a better chance of having them closer by. And I would venture a guess that those would be the same children that we find enrolling in Kindergarten under-exposed to the world and with less than adequate background knowledge to get started in academic learning. I think it could help close some gaps for underpriveledged kids, as well as make things more convenient for all parents."
"It is costly for us to take our 1st graders down to Richmond and it wastes a lot of our time being on the road that could be spent exploring the museum. Fredericksburg needs more cultural things to do and more things for families to do that are not that expensive."
"It keeps children entertained with hands-on activities, and is great for family involvement. It's fun for all ages!"
"We lack destination places for families with younger children. 90% of our cool tourism or outdoor activities are for those age 6+. It would be awesome to expand the cultural community here."
"It can do nothing but add a wonderful place for both locals and visitors to take their children for educational purposes."
"A Museum encourages a child to learn through visual and interactive experiences. It also encourages a child in the culture of appreciation of the arts."
"The closest one is Richmond, an hour away. Therefore it pretty much requires a full day to go. You can't just hop over for an afternoon. We are a growing community with 17 elementary schools in Spotsylvania alone."
"As a teacher in Stafford County, the need is great to have a place nearby to take field trips where students can interact with materials related to school objectives."
"Children's Museums are not only educational but they are fun and they are a great place to go on a rainy and/or cold day. When company comes, we love to have somewhere to take them to visit and enjoy their time in Fredericksburg."
"We need to show our children and community we care about children and their education-of the mind, body and soul."
"I believe our population would easily sustain one, even if completely unaided by tax dollars. And we desperately need some more culture. And by culture, I don't mean go cart tracks and chain restaurants!"
"The education alone. To help peak a child's interest. To explore new areas and new ideas."
"We need to do more to bring culture to our community and keep the students turned on to learning."
"I would like to see a museum that is very "hands-on" with docents that are trained to appeal to children. I love the kids' rooms in the Smithsonian - places where kids can actually touch items, do experiments, etc."
"I teach 3rd grade in Spotsylvania County and it amazes me the number of children that have never been to a museum. Many children have limited experiences which negatively effects their learning. Even though Washington D.C. and Richmond are only and hour away, many kids have never left our area. A local children's museum would be a wonderful asset to our area."
"It would be great for local field trips, could really add to curriculum in the schools. more activities for parents and children in which to interact together."
"Early introduction into the arts and humanities is important in the educational development of a child. Working at the largest elementary school in Spotsylvania, I feel this county definitely needs a children's museum. There are so many boys and girls with such a limited range of experience that a museum geared towards them would really help expand their horizons and their background knowledge."
" I think every child should have access to a Children's museum! The importance of learning through play is paramount! Fredericksburg is booming as far as development goes and has become a very popular place to visit, shop and play. It's the perfect location for a children's museum. It would fill a niche and be much closer than D.C. or Baltimore or Richmond for many parents & caregivers who just can't wrangle their kids all that way! It's a wonderful learning opportunity for little ones. Offers programs for schools/field trips. Socialization and encouragement for mothers. Family oriented environments strengthen the community."
"Children's museums give children a place to interactively learn about history, science, math, and many other areas. Most museums in our area are more geared towards an older audience and are "no touch" places. Kids need places where they can learn hands-on which will allow them to take that experience to the real world. Also, a museum of this type would facilitate topics that could support academics in the schools. We have many families with young children and the closest museum is the one in Richmond which is about 50 minutes to an hour plus away depending on where you live. It would be a great asset to the area, especially for tourism and military families."
"As a librarian I believe in the value of museums. I believe that if parents take their children to museums the kids can enjoy, they are more likely to continue visiting museums when they are older."
"Our area has grown so much! Traffic makes driving to Washington and Richmond an ordeal. A local non-commercial place to bring young children would be wonderful."
"It would be a great educational field trip for area schools! As a mother, I would enjoy a place to take my own children where the learning is interactive."
"With the inception of water parks in support of Celebrate America and the trails, families need to expand the minds and imagination of young people. The Children's museum concept does just that. It should touch on science principles, local lore and habitat, and a place to "learn without knowing you're learning." State history is a way of associating our transient population to the local area - a museum concentrating on the local area will bring a pride and belonging to our otherwise transient culture."
"With budgetary and time constraints school field trips are often limited by distance. A local children's museum is definitely needed."
"I think anything that encourages children to explore and make sense of the world is incredibly beneficial to society."
"In an area so rich in history, it is important for the youngest members in our community to be educated on historical topics, and more, on a level that best suits their needs. The area is a bedroom community, with lots of children. A children's museum would be a wonderful tool for stay-at-home parents, day care centers, and schools to use to create a wide background knowledge for children. Creating prior knowledge for children on an array of topics will certainly prove beneficial to students and the community once these youngsters begin their k-12 education."
"We have many tourist attractions, especially related to the Civil War and historical figures who have lived here. There isn't really anything that appeals to a very young audience (preschoolers) besides the library that is free or low cost. I think that this would promote tourism, would offer a significant opportunity for enrichment activities for local families and school groups, and it would make a strong statement about the Fredericksburg area's commitment to promoting education."
"It seems the area is large enough to support a Museum without having to drive to DC or Richmond. With the large number of elementary schools in the area as well as housing plans, it would be great to have a museum available for a number of purposes. As a teacher it would be a great place to go on field trips. As a mom, it would be a great place to get a family membership to take the kids. And if it's local, that means we could visit more often instead of having to make a huge day trip out of it."
"Although Fredericksburg has plenty of opportunities for entertainment and participation for the children of the area, I believe that play is a very important part of their growing and learning years. Explorative and freestyle play, even more than participation in organized activities, is crucial to the development of their imagination, understanding, knowledge, and socialization. As a future grandmother, I would definitely take advantage of a nearby children's museum."
"We need one because there is not that much for younger children to do in our area. Older children have the historic areas/places and the Fredericksburg Historic Museum downtown, but these are boring for the little guys. I would definitely like to see something that will stimulate creativity and encourage play for those that are not old enough to appreciate the more educational opportunities that are already available in Fredericksburg."
"Fredericksburg is a convenient drive for me even though I live in Louisa County- I go to Fredericksburg quite a bit and it would be great to have access to a Children's Museum. I also teach school in Spotsylvania County and it would be wonderful to have a place where children can experience and get to have hands on activities to learn about different topics."
"It develops their appreciation for museums, regardless of the subject."
"I think children need to have more opportunities for exploration and divergent thinking than they are getting in schools today, due to the pressures generated by high-stakes testing."
"I LOVE children's museum. I was a stay at home mom, I would take my twins for learning and fun. Now I teach biology and see how important it is to expose kids to science concepts, art, and other hands on activities!"
"There are many more children in this area than in years past. A local Children's Museum would be great to have. It would bring business into the area and families won't have to travel out of town."
"Children need more indoor activities in this area. The area has yet to provide many positive experiences for young children and their parents to do together."
"There are so many museums and historical places to visit but they really don't cater much to the little ones."
"The kids need to learn the value of having a museum, and what a museum can bring to them educationally."
"I work in the public schools and feel that a Children's Museum would be a wonderful asset to reinforce what the children are learning in school in a hands on atmosphere. I think that Fredericksburg needs one so that parents don't have to travel as far to provide their child with this experience."
"I think Fredericksburg needs more educational opportunities in general, but since I have kids, I especially think a Children's Museum sounds like a great idea. Plus, I hope it would give me a chance to meet other families and mothers that I could get together with and make friends, since we are new to the area and have found it difficult to meet with other families with our interests."
"A lot of the "cultural" activities in Fredericksburg are geared toward adults. Some of the better child centered activities (I.e., at the library) fill up quickly. Spur of the moment outings with children are hard to do and stay local."
"Nothing says that a community is family-friendly and supportive of education like a well-run children's museum!"
"We would absolutely benefit from the addition of a museum for children here in the historic Fredericksburg City! The available and teachable history alone would fill a museum's potential. Add to that the endless possibilities for interactive children's exhibits and the idea should fund itself!"
"Fredericksburg could support a Children's Museum because the area has seen rapid changes in demographics, and is now home to a more diverse group of families than ever before, with higher education and income levels, more disposable income, and an advanced understanding of the kind of learning opportunities a hands-on children's museum can offer."
"The Woodbridge, Stafford, Fredericksburg area is rapidly growing!! There are so many kids. 11 elementary schools in Stafford County alone with around 800-900 kids at each school!! That's approx. 9000 kids age 11 and under just in Stafford County, and very little for these children to do. Many of the local kids activities focus on being outside. During the winter (or days that are too hot in summer) or inclement weather it is nice to have a place to go where we can still learn and have fun in a tactile environment. Other activities don't cater well to parents of multiple children of different ages - bowling might be good for my 8 year old but my 18 month old is too young for that. A place where I can take both kids and they can each get something out of the activity is good."
"I am a pediatrician and know that this is a growing area where many young families settle. I see first hand that people seek new enriching experiences for their young children. On my visits to the Richmond Children's museum with my own children I have seen many families from the Fredericksburg area. I believe that they would appreciate a similar venue closer to home."
"Because I would like to support our local businesses and NOT have to drive at least an hour and a half to enrich my children."
"Our area could benefit from such a place. There are a lot of stay at home moms and homeschooled families who would love to spend their mornings or afternoons having fun and learning at the same time. It would also be nice to have a fun place to go on those rainy and hot days when you just really need to get out of the house!"
"Hometown fun! Why travel north or south if we don't have to? Plus we are on the way to a lot of places, I think a museum would get lots of 'play'?"