Children's museum receives grant

By Alyssa Donovan

January 13, 2013 Updated Jan 14, 2013 at 1:37 PM CDT

NORMAL, Ill.-- A handful of museums across the Illinois are upgrading their facilities thanks to state grants.

For one local museum, that means discovering more learning opportunities for children.

The Children's Discovery Museum in uptown Normal has been teaching kids for almost 20 years.

"The kids really love all the activities they can do," said Adam Kapchinske of Heyworth. "It's a good time. They learn a lot."

However, Kapchinske says his 2-year-old daughter's options are limited at the museum.

Kapchinske said, "A lot of the stuff is too big for her so an extension of the toddler area would be perfect."

That request is being heard. Kapchinske's daughter and children from across Illinois will get to enjoy their own exhibit, thanks to more than $200,000 in grants from Governor Quinn's office and PNC Bank.

The new My Great Backyard exhibit will be an extension of the toddler area on the first floor of the museum.

"It'll be about 900 square feet. We'll have a giant tree, an area for kids to have picnics with their families, hopscotch lily pads, a club house and a number of interactive components," explained Museum Manager Sheila Riley.

Riley says the addition has been planned for years but the funding just wasn't there.

"We're still doing some fundraisers this year to make up the difference," said Riley.

Melissa Slama of Heyworth said, "When you come once a month, you see the same things so a new exhibit would be exciting."

For parents like Adam, the new museum addition is a welcome discovery for both parents and children alike.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.