Providence Children's Museum Logo-colorBy Kelly Fenton
Visitor Services and Volunteer Manager

Herc and Adrianna, a father and his three-year-old daughter, walk through the office doors of Providence Children’s Museum and are greeted by Arielle, one of the staff. Preparing for their volunteer shift, they put on name tags and yellow aprons, sign in at the volunteer binder, and head to Water Ways to help visitors float boats and build fountains.  Herc and Adrianna have been volunteering every Tuesday for about three months and enjoy coming to the Museum to interact with other parents and children and to spend time playing together.Providence Childrens Museum -family-playing

Mike and Olivia, another father/daughter pair, volunteer every other Sunday. Olivia, a tenth grader, needed to complete community service hours for her school and involved her dad in the process. They assist with drop-in programs like Domino Madness and Balls and Tracks – designing zigzagging domino chains and building marble roller coasters – and also encourage families to explore Play Power, Bone Zone, and the Museum’s other hands-on exhibits, engaging visitors of all ages in play.

Cameron, six years old, and his mother, Danielle, have become an important part of the Museum team. They volunteer once a month during MetLife Family Fridays by helping visitors experiment and solve problems in the FETCH!TM Lab, a science activity station. An avid fan of the PBS series that inspired the program, Cameron was delighted when he heard about the opportunity to play with other kids as they work through challenges like constructing towers from paper cups and creating cars that sail. Volunteers for nearly a year, they have attended numerous recognition events such as last summer’s Water Fest in the Museum’s garden and a winter Skate Night. Both Cameron and Danielle enjoy getting to know other volunteers and staff who attend these fun festivities.

Providence Children’s Museum welcomes and celebrates volunteers of every kind – high school and college students, working and retired adults, and a growing number of family volunteers – because they all bring a tapestry of experiences to their playful work at the Museum. Volunteering is important at any age but can have a huge impact on young children as they come to understand the significance of helping others in their community.

April 19 through 25 is National Volunteer Week, a wonderful time to find a meaningful volunteer opportunity to engage in with your child. To learn more about the family volunteer program at Providence Children’s Museum, contact Kelly Fenton at fenton@childrenmuseum.org or (401) 273-5437 ext. 133.

News and Notes from Providence Children’s Museum: Occasional posts about things to do with our kids – from places to go, things to make, ideas to think about, and ways to explore. Providence Children’s Museum – 100 South Street, Providence, RI. 401-273-5437 (KIDS).

TM/© 2007 WGBH Educational Foundation. Providence Children’s Museum FETCH! Lab sponsored by The Amgen Foundation.