Downtown Rutland's children's museum has won a grant, and area families will reap the benefits. The Bowse Health Trust, a department of the Rutland Regional Medical Center, has awarded Wonderfeet Kids' Museum a three-year grant to provide outreach programs to nine organizations that serve young children.
Wonderfeet will use the money to hire a part-time education coordinator to help set up activities that nurture parenting, paternal involvement, kindergarten readiness, nutrition and health curricula, and exposure to STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — education. Partners include Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, WIC, Head Start, Eckerd Kids family services, Rutland Free Library, and the Boys & Girls Club.
"This grant helps to position the museum as a leader in creating a healthy community," Wonderfeet executive director Myra Peffer said. The museum will get $43,000 this year and lesser amounts the next two years. People may not think of a children's museum as a place that serves a community, Peffer said, but when you're working with families with limited resources, a children's museum provides social services: "It's beyond a fun place to go with your kids on a rainy day."