Cara Lesser, founder of the Kids International Discovery KID Museum organization, has been hosting focus groups of county parents and partnering in county-sponsored events to help develop the project.
Lesser, who for 20 years worked in health policy and who has two kids of her own, said she saw a need for educational and volunteer-based programming aimed at kids. She and three others are working to publicize the effort and raise money.
“I’ve seen from my professional life and my personal life that we need to do a lot more to cultivate kids’ curiosity about the world and their compassion,” Lesser said.
The museum would be “a little bit of a hybrid” between a traditional children’s museum and a science center, Lesser said. It would be aimed at kids age 6-12, a little bit older age group than most children’s museums with an emphasis on learning about other cultures and promoting volunteer activities.
A “Global Connections” exhibit would explore the culture of a rotating group of countries through cooking, crafts and storytelling. A hand-on science exhibit and “Kids in Action” space are also planned.
The group is working on an economic feasibility study with a consultant that would help determine a location. Bethesda is a possibility.
In partnering with Montgomery County on its World of Montgomery Festival this fall in Wheaton, the KID Museum was able to work closely with county staff that have expressed great optimism about the project. Lesser said the museum would likely be the result of a private-public partnership and the KID Museum is taking donations through its website.
Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Josh Starr has been a big supporter of the initiative and is on the group’s advisory board.
For more information on the KID Museum, visit its website.
Interest in cross country is growing at the Green Acres School (11701 Danville Dr.). A few students even placed in last year’s conference meet.
But there wasn’t a place to run until a group of teachers and students got together to build one on the private school’s 15-acre North Bethesda campus.
The result is a 1.1-mile course through the woods that circle the school that will debut tomorrow (Tuesday) in Green Acres’ first ever home meet.
The 1st Annual Alumni Classic, honoring Green Acres alum and former University of Oregon cross country runner Ben Stern, will start at 4 p.m. with the boys’ race and 4:20 p.m. with the girls’ race.
The course is literally self-made. Students worked after school to move branches, pull weeds and tear away brush to create a path.
“We have a lot of good runners, so it will be cool to have home meets,” said seventh grader and Bethesda resident Solomon Maya.
The project doubled as a service-learning project for middle schoolers at the pre-K through eighth grade school, prompted by staff members Treena Selak, Matt Marchildon and Larry Jodrie.
“By devoting time to actually building our first cross country course, our students have assumed ownership over this new campus resource,” said Head of School Neal Brown, “one that will benefit Green Acres students for years to come.”
The course will also be used for PE classes and recess. Stern will kick off tomorrow’s meet against the Lowell School. The school hopes it becomes an annual alumni event.