Over ten years ago, the Children’s Museum was preparing to relocate and create a museum in Dover. D.F. Richard didn’t hesitate to help, and they have been committed partners ever since. I had the pleasure of reminiscing with Rick Card, CEO and General Manager of D. F. Richard, about our 10-year relationship.
As head of the Dover Chamber of Commerce in 2008, Rick recognized the museum’s move as an opportunity for the city. “It was a bold move at the time, and in the end it worked out well for the children, the city of Dover, and its citizens.” Being in Dover has also worked out well for the Children’s Museum!
D.F. Richard has been a loyal and unstinting supporter of the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s educational programs, fundraising events, and exhibit spaces.
“At D.F. Richard we try to give back to organizations that our 14,000 customers are passionate about," shared Rick. "Our investment in the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire was a small gift in relation to what it has meant to the community.”
Devoted to family – father of three sons who also work at D.F. Richard, and grandfather of five – Rick continues the tradition of giving back to the community that began 86 years ago when the Richard family founded the company. “Dover is a family-oriented city. It’s a great place to live and do business. Thanks to the Children’s Museum, other businesses have moved into the area. You can make a day of it between visiting the Museum, the playground, and downtown businesses.”
The long-standing generosity of D.F. Richard has made it possible for the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire to develop programs and exhibits that have ignited the imaginations of nearly 1 million visitors since moving to Dover in 2008.
According to Rick, “The Museum engages kids with hands-on activities that keep them away from screens and keyboards. My sons love bringing their kids here. I like that the Museum takes care of the people who can’t afford to come. Looking back, we have all benefitted from having the Museum here!”
Partnerships like this are essential to our success in fulfilling our mission to actively engage families in hands-on discovery. To learn more about D. F. Richard, visit www.dfrichard.com.
To learn more about museum sponsorship, click here.
Every spring, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover creates a special art exhibition for our Gallery 6 space that aims to promote appreciation and inclusion of other cultures through the arts. This year’s “MOSAIC: Exploring Our Multicultural Neighborhood” art exhibition, on view through May 27, 2018 focuses on the stories, background and aspects of the cultures of recent immigrants and individuals from the community whose ancestors immigrated to this country in the past.
The exhibition, entitled “Immigrant Alphabet” uses the letters of the alphabet as a frame of reference for the museum’s young visitors. The art focuses on the unique contributions these families have made to the community and the richness derived from having a diverse population.
Each work of art in this exhibition was created by the students and faculty of the Dover Adult Learning Center, area artists, as well as friends and staff of the Children’s Museum of NH.
“M is for Mexico” features the smiling faces of Monica Ramirez and her three children. “My dream is that children around the world would be happy, healthy and smart,” says Ramirez in a statement next to her art. “We need to make a better place and help one another, no matter the difference.”
“G is for Greece” highlights the family history of CMNH Education Director, Xanthi Gray, going back to her Great, Great Grandparents, Zaxo and Vasilios Manias.
“P is for Perseverance” is a collage of photographs intermixed with small hand written notes telling the story of great grandparents from Kiev who “had to come to America to escape persecution. They arrived via Ellis Island and settled in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York. Their families spoke four languages: Hebrew, Russian, Yiddish, and later, English.” This piece ends with this loving observation: “I am named after my great-grandparents, but I can only hope that at least an ounce of their chutzpah runs in my veins.
The exhibition’s introduction text says “Here are stories of love, family, courage, perseverance and determination as well as a celebration of the vast beauty of other lands. Together, they make up a fascinating MOSAIC. Perhaps this exhibition will inspire you to investigate more about your own Immigrant Experience.”
The public is invited to an opening reception on Friday, May 4 from 5-7pm. The opening reception coincides with the Dover Art Walk. Visiting any art exhibition in Gallery 6 does not require museum admission.
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire would like to give a special thanks to Lien Harris, Deana Strand, Dalia Ahmed, Gracia Watkins, Jing Xiong, Nattawan Murphy, Sandra Cordoba, Sara Kazemiha, Monica Ramirez Echeverria, Laura Frincu, Marianne Torino, Bhuvanans Siddalingachar, Anu Onkari, Rani Sip, Xanthi Gray, Eric Erwin, Taylore Kelly, Julia Kirchmer, Susan McClure, Rebecca La Cain, Jane Niles, Nancy Hotchkiss, Ana Garnica and Kimberly and Kasey Tarr for helping to make this exhibition a success. This exhibition is sponsored by the generosity of The Jack & Dorothy Byrne Family Foundation, The Fuller Foundation, The Georgia-Pacific Foundation, Abbie F. Moseley Trust, Newburyport Five Cents Charitable Foundation, and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. The museum’s MOSAIC program is supported by the Eastern Bank Foundation.
If you were visiting the Museum on Sunday morning March 4th, you might have been surprised to see half a dozen golden Labradors Retrievers strolling around. These dogs, mostly 10-11 month old puppies, are in training to become skilled canine companion dogs. ‘Puppy raisers’ and their charges visited Exploring Our Way to share information with families about the Canine Companions for Independence Program, which provides trained dogs to work with an adult or child with a disability, including Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Autism Partnership Program, Exploring Our Way, debuted in March 2010 after many months of planning with a dedicated committee of advisors. Since then, the museum has opened its doors one Sunday per month exclusively for families raising a child on the autism spectrum. Exploring Our Way offers a quieter, less crowded environment in which to explore museum exhibits with the goal of providing the best opportunity for a successful museum visit. Siblings are invited too, so the entire family can enjoy a fun outing together.
In the safe and welcoming surroundings of the Children’s Museum children with Autism Spectrum Disorder explore at their own pace, become familiar with the museum’s exhibits, and may feel comfortable enough to increase the length of time of their visit. We invite families to consider visiting during public hours, if their child is comfortable enough, and give them free admission passes in case they want to make the transition.
We also introduce families to new resources and services, like Canine Companions for Independence, by inviting representatives to come to Exploring Our Way and share information with parents. Check the Exploring Our Way page on our website and Facebook to learn more about upcoming special guests.
Exploring Our Way will not happen on April 1st as the Museum will be closed for Easter Sunday. We look forward to seeing you on May 6th!
By Meredith Lamothe, Early Childhood & Literacy Coordinator
We all know it’s sometimes difficult to get children to brush their teeth. Establishing a set routine of tooth brushing and flossing can be really tricky. I only have a dog-child, but I can tell you that trying to brush her teeth isn’t a piece of cake, either!
We’re celebrating Children’s Dental Health month here at The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and have a lot of fun activities planned and special guests who will be visiting us to promote good dental hygiene. One of our guests who will be joining us is local Veterinary Consultant, Dr. Timothy Hunt who will be talking all about animal teeth.
It’s no surprise that children love animals. Most animals don’t have to brush their teeth at all because they have natural ways of keeping their teeth clear of tartar and bacteria that cause tooth decay. But why not educate children about animal teeth to try and make their own dental health a little more fun?
Have your little ones compare how their teeth feel after eating ice cream (or some other sweet) and after eating a carrot - do they feel different? Ask if any animals in the wild eat ice cream - of course they don’t! They do eat carrots and other vegetables and plants - which help to keep their teeth clean because they don’t have refined sugars or carbohydrates that damage teeth.
The next time you are at the dentist, ask the dentist to show your child an X-Ray of their teeth. What do they notice? We have two sets of teeth! The “baby” teeth they have they’ll only keep for awhile, but after that - there’s only one more set. That’s why we need to take such good care of them. Some creatures like sharks and alligators have many, many sets of teeth - ask your child why they think sharks and alligators have so many teeth? It’s because they’re carnivores! They do a great deal of damage to their teeth when they catch and eat their prey - so it’s important for them to have lots of “back-up” teeth throughout their lives.
Dr. Hunt will visit us on February 28th to share all of his expertise on Animal Teeth and we’re very excited. We also have our Dino Detective Exhibit where you can come and compare carnivore and herbivore teeth - and we bring out our collection of animal skulls during Dental Health Month - where you can see real shark teeth and real beaver teeth! Come play and learn with us!
by Jane Bard, CMNH President
What’s new at the Museum? is the most commonly asked question when myself and my Museum colleagues are out and about in the community.
Before looking ahead, 2017 saw growth and change to best serve the 93,000 plus individuals we served last year. New experiences for our visitors included a new Thinkering Lab exhibit in January, to a major refresh of the iconic Build It-Fly It exhibit in the Fall, three new Gallery 6 exhibitions throughout the year, and the opening of the new Dover Adventure Playground outside our doors in June.
To deepen our impact, we created new curriculum-based programs for schools, our first-ever Grown-Up Play Dates and the We All Belong program for immigrant families. One of our most ambitious projects took place behind the scenes, an investment in a point-of-sales and database system that is helping us become more effective and efficient.
So what is in store for 2018? We will be celebrating our 35th anniversary and 10th year since becoming the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and expanding in Dover by continuing to offer the same great programming and exhibits you’ve come to expect from us, while continuing to refresh these experiences and listening to the needs of our audience. Our One World exhibits will be getting a new life, introducing visitors to new cultures representing local immigrant populations through arts, culture and food. New signs within our exhibits will highlight the ways children are learning as they explore. Favorite programs and events will continue, while plans are underway for a special anniversary events in the summer and fall, so stay tuned!
Do you visit the Children's Museum of New Hampshire a lot and don't want to deal with parking tokens or running out to feed the meter? The town of Dover has started to use the EasyPark System and it might be a great solution for many of our visitors. It has several advantages:
- No longer need to go to and from the parking meter. Just turn your EasyPark on for the zone you are in and enjoy your visit downtown.
- No longer have to predict how long you will be parked and paying for unused time. Just turn the device off when you are done.
- Pay "by the minute." No one hour minimum for credit cards or 20 minutes for coins/tokens.
- It can be turned on before the hours of meter operation and won't start charging until 9am.
- You don't have to come out to turn it off. The EasyPark will stop charging once meter hours end. Just remember to turn off before the next morning.
- It will remind you every 60 seconds with a tone in the event you drive away and don't turn it off.
- You can still take advantage of the "short visit exception" free parking in on-street spaces. Simply don't turn your device on. Parking officers will track your short visit like they do all cars. If you change your mind and want to park longer, just turn the device on.
- If used properly, virtually eliminates the chance of getting a parking ticket.
- Not only does the EasyPark system work in Dover, but also in Durham, Portsmouth and Manchester.
You will need internet access & a credit/debit card to use the EasyPark System.
- Each EasyPark cost $29.95 including $10 in parking fees.
- There is a $1.10/month membership fee per device or $11 a year when paying for the year in advance.
- Go to www.easyparkusa.com and set up your account or you can call 1-855-873-2797 and EasyPark will send you an email to walk you through the process.
- $3.25 fee for reloads up to $50; $3.70 for $75; and $4.25 for $100.
Your membership fee gets you:
- Free battery replacement every 12 months
- Online and phone account assistance
- Access to online reports of parking activity
Questions? Call (603) 516-6132
As the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire enters its 35th year, we are taking the opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the businesses and individuals who have supported us so generously along the way.
Meet Kevin Grant from Sprague and a former member of the Children’s Museum board. Sprague was founded in 1870 and is one of the largest independent suppliers of energy products and related services in the Northeast. They market fuel oils, natural gas, and electricity to over 20,000 business customers. They are committed to improving the communities in which they live and work, both as a company and through their employees.
As Kevin and I walked around the museum, we talked about Sprague’s long connection to the Children’s Museum.
Paula: Sprague was instrumental to the Children’s Museum by giving the lead gift to our capital campaign to create the new museum in Dover in 2008. Can you tell me about that decision?
Kevin: Prior to the capital campaign Sprague had a long history of supporting the Children’s Museum during its years as our neighbor in Portsmouth. I think we recognized the important role the museum plays in our community and what a large endeavor that it was taking on in transforming their organization with the move into this new space. Sprague saw an opportunity to support the museum during this period and we were pleased we could be part of the campaign.
Paula: What impact is Sprague achieving through its giving?
Kevin: There is a culture of giving that is important to Sprague throughout the entire organization. I think this is reflected in our annual support of the MDA and Big Brothers / Big Sisters as well as the weekly support we provide to a number of different entities. Many of these efforts come from Sprague’s “Just Give” committee, which is an employee-organized group that is constantly coming up with innovative ways to raise funds within Sprague to assist local organizations. We are proud of this legacy of giving to the Museum and the other non-profits in the Seacoast plus the other communities that we operate in.
Paula: What would you tell other businesses about supporting the Children’s Museum?
Kevin: Being part of the Museum’s donor community has allowed us to see up close the great programs and services being offered here daily. Having had the opportunity to serve on the board, I have witnessed what a knowledgeable and professional staff the museum has been able to assemble. These experiences give Sprague great confidence that our donations are having a meaningful impact. I will also add that the museum is also a lot of fun. Sprague employees and their kids are frequent guests and have had many great experiences at the facility.
Paula Rais, VP Development & Community Engagement
Paula@childrens-museum.org (603) 742-2002 ext. 119
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in downtown Dover offers a variety of weekday science classes for preschoolers, as well as homeschoolers but is now offering parents an added bonus during a Monday science class.
The museum’s popular Junior Science Explorers class for kids ages 3.5-5 is now being offered on Mondays, a day the museum is closed to the public. Families who have a museum membership can not only sign up their kids for the class, but any younger siblings can now join parents on the 2nd floor of the museum to play in the exhibits while their older siblings are in class. This is a benefit that’s exclusive to museum members and is only offered while the Monday class is in session.
This November’s Junior Science class theme is “Incredible Animals” and will invite junior scientists to explore habitats, animal tracks, survival techniques and more. The class runs Mondays, November 6 through December 11 from 1:30-2:15pm.
These 45-minute structured science classes are $60 for Members and $70 for Non-members. Pre-registration is required. Call 603-742-2002 to register.