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Gifts for Good: KidZone

Staff Report
Emma Garrard/Sierra SunEmily Hackley, 5, helps put up the display at KidZone last summer. The nonprofit helps support early childhood education in the Truckee region.
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Executive Director: Carol Meagher

Phone: (530) 587-KIDS (5437)

Address: 11711 Donner Pass Rd. 96161

For 15 years, the Kidzone Museum has focused on inquiry based hands-on education with an emphasis on early childhood education, art and science.

Kidzone Museum began as Sierra Nevada Children’s Museum in a storefront by 7-11 on Donner Pass Rd. With unwavering community support, the Museum has grown to welcome 17,000 visitors a year with the majority of members and visitors from the Truckee and Tahoe area and a quarter of the visitors coming from other areas.

Carol Meagher has been Executive Director for six years. She was a volunteer at Sierra Nevada Children’s Museum before her appointment. Carol has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and a Masters in Recreation Administration with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. She is a member of the Community Collaborative, Glenshire PTO, Art and Culture Council and Excellence in Education.

Children up to seven years old can experience a rotating exhibit with engaging learning experiences while promoting experiential play. The current exhibit, Into Africa, includes a marketplace, jungle with climbing vines, and hand-made wildlife costumes. There is also an infant area, magnet wall and indoor jungle gym.

Year-round classes and summer camps in the arts and sciences are offered for pre-K-8 graders. In Spring, KidZone will install a life on the farm exhibit.

How can people contribute?

KidZone Museum is looking for sponsors of the month to help pay for exhibits, programs, memberships and transportation for low-income families, cleaning and operations. We are also looking for a sponsor to bring the Oregon Shadow Theatre to our KidZone audience (in partnership with Arts for the Schools). People can donate online at http://www.kidzonemuseum.org or mail a donation to 11711 Donner Pass Rd. Truckee, CA 96161.

What if they are unable to donate money but want to help?

Kidzone Museum welcomes and utilizes volunteers in their day to day operations. Volunteers design and implement fundraising events, support seasonal events at the museum, research and build new exhibits, and provide operational support. Annually volunteers accumulate 9,000 hours of time helping. Gifts in kind, including construction, maintenance and business’s gifts, reach above $60,000.

What future plans do you have for your nonprofit?

KidZone Museum needs to raise 5 million to relocate the temporary tent facility within the next two years. We have outgrown the current location and have no room for outdoor programs or children’s theatre. The long-range plan is to incorporate the environmental and science programs into a nature center and to expand interactive exhibits to serve older children.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Want your name on the permanent Children’s Museum for our region? Want to leave a legacy for a child? We will be happy to welcome your support in helping us see our dream become a reality.


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