As Central Oregon grows, we’ve fostered a remarkable array of cultural activities—enhancing both our community and the tourist industry that is so critical to our area. The presence of a Children’s Museum will enhance this community centered cultural richness. Central Oregon is full of young families, and those with children know how fortunate we are to live in such a family friendly, active and engaged place.
The desire to start a Children’s Museum here in Central Oregon grew out of several factors. First and foremost was the lack of this kind of facility. Director Kayla Wopschall frequented Children’s Museums throughout many cities and countries while traveling with her two young children, and realized Central Oregon was missing such a space. When discussing this need with other parents, grandparents and care providers in the area, it became apparent that she was not the only one who felt that way. Secondly, in researching the previous Bend area Children’s Museum, and surveying the variety of other non-profits geared towards young children in the area, it was clear that certain resources and opportunities were either not available or not easily accessible. Out of this the current strategic plan (pending board approval) was developed.
The Children’s Museum of Central Oregon will offer place based and hands on educational experiences through play and experimentation. Components will include a focus on our local culture, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), the fine arts and the performing arts. We will strive to work with existing non-profits in the Central Oregon region to ensure we are not duplicating experiences, rather assisting in providing resources and filling gaps where needed. We will be a space that serves the individual families and the community as a whole—investing in our youngest community members and helping to develop creative, engaged and critical thinking global citizens.
To be a place for childhood exploration, family growth and community engagement within Central Oregon, creating lifelong learners and investing in our youngest community members.
Our mission is to serve as a place for children to create, explore and investigate their world through immersive hands on experiences, and as a resource for families of all types to grow and learn together.