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The Delaware Children's Museum continues its pandemic recovery

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

The Delaware Children's Museum is using $100,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to help get back to business post-pandemic.

The money comes from the $9.55 million in ARPA funds New Castle County made available to organizations which struggled with the economic impact of the pandemic.

And New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer says the Delaware Children's Museum is a worthy recipient.

“When you make a list of the organizations with a positive impact on the community who were most severely impacted by COVID, the Children’s Museum certainly falls into that group. So many people across our community, across the region, benefit from it. It’s got a huge economic impact. We’ve got to make sure it’s not only surviving but thriving,” said Meyer.

The Delaware Children’s Museum in Wilmington is the state’s only children's museum - and during the pandemic, it had to close its doors for 15 months.

Seven full-time staff members were kept on to continue the museum's mission of accessible and creative learning through virtual opportunities and learning bag giveaways.

And more staff was hired back after the museum reopened, despite budgetary concerns.

DCM is using their $100,000 in ARPA funds to help recover and boost their staffing.

The museum’s Executive Director Jen Bush says because the museum promotes child-directed learning, its staff has to be ready for anything.

“They help to guide, they can also be instructional. It kind of depends on the group,” explained Bush. “You kind of have to learn whether they want directives or they want support. Sometimes it’s just guiding, helping, pointing to where the restroom is. They have to figure it out very quickly.”

DCM staff help run seven exhibits, an art studio, and a STEM program room.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021.