First 5 Announces Major Grant to ImagineU Children’s Museum

First 5 Tulare County’s commissioners last week voted to present ImagineU Children’s Museum with a grant of $126,000 – one of the largest local grants to date for the museum, due to open in 2015.

The grant will sponsor the “Ready, Set, Grow” exhibit which will be designed for infants and toddlers, said Cheryl Christman, president of the museum’s board of directors.

“This exhibit will include soft boulders for climbing, a tree house, a learning tree reading center, and various textures and levels so that young children can move, touch, grow and experience, all in a safe and age-appropriate exhibit,” Christman explained. “The board of directors is so grateful to the First 5 commissioners for this huge step in our fundraising efforts.”

Other family and child-friendly aspects of the “Ready, Set, Grow” exhibit include low walls that will allow adults to observe older children in other parts of the museum, adult seating, an area to “park” strollers, and a private nursing corner for breastfeeding.

“First 5’s mission is to enhance the early development of children toddlers by funding programs that help in a variety of ways, including food and shelter, literacy support, dental health and more,” noted Janet Hogan, executive director of First 5 Tulare County. “This exhibit turns play into learning, and will support children’s cognitive, fine and gross motor skills, language and literacy, and social/emotional development. It fits very well with First 5’s mission.”

Other significant grants for the museum have been received from the State of California’s Nature Education Facilities Grant, California Water Service Co. and the Mariachi Heritage Foundation.

First 5 Tulare County is funded by Proposition 10, the tobacco tax passed by voters in 1998. For information, call First 5 Tulare County at 622-8650 or visit www.First5tc.org.

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