Bethesda Group Hopes to Build MoCo Children's Museum


A group of Bethesda residents hopes to build a children's museum Montgomery County can call its own. 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.

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