What will a Children's Museum do for our community? We believe "The Case for Children's Museums" published by the Association of Children's Museums (2005) says it best:
• Children's museums serve as town squares and build social capital: A landmark examination of civic engagement, Working Together: Community Involvement in America, indicates that children are one of the most likely subjects to motivate community involvement. Children's museums engage families and individual citizens to share their talents and points of view.
• Children's museums are uniquely positioned to help reverse stigma and discrimination: Children's museums are popular, yet neutral, sources of information, attract a diverse cross-section of people and provide shared experiences through interpretative and interactive exhibits. By exposing adults and children to unfamiliar concepts in a non-threatening, hands-on approach, and ensuring that the museum experience is accessible to those of differing abilities and backgrounds, children's museums create bridges of understanding.
• Children's museums strengthen community resources that educate and care for children: Children's museum art, science, math, music, literacy and other exhibits and programs for children are valuable resources, especially in communities where such programs have been reduced or completely eliminated from schools and libraries due to budget constraints. Additionally, children's museums hold workshops about informal learning for parents, teachers and childcare professionals.
• Children's museums contribute to local economies and reduce economic barriers: More than 30 percent of children's museums are part of a downtown revitalization project. According to ACM data, the total economic activity of its children's museum members is $448 million. Children's museums are sought-after local and travel destinations. More than 30 million individuals annually visit children's museums around the world. One in two children's museums offer discounted/free admission for low-income individuals.