Mission, Vision, and Values
Our Mission: To provide a unique hands-on environment where children explore, investigate, create, and discover.
Our Vision: Now more than ever the formation of a child’s academic, social, and problem-solving skills are critical for lifetime success. We know with the help of advancements made in pediatric neuroscience the conditions necessary for building a better brain. Beginning with a tiny spark in infancy, a child’s brain develops through experience and direct interaction with her environment; in a word, through play. The Galveston Children’s Museum’s mission is to fuel that spark, to respect each child’s unique identity and give them permission to be playful, curious, creative, inspired, and inspiring; people who have the ability to think outside the box, and know they can meet challenges and overcome them.
Our Values: We believe in the value of play. We believe that play is the work of children, and using imagination is how children learn new concepts, how to problem solve, and the rules and properties of the world around them. We believe children need the opportunity to move freely, to manipulate materials, and to interact using all their senses in order to make a solid and lasting impression. Science has proven that unrestricted play is how children form their important brain functions, such as executive function, spatial awareness, and moral judgment. We value this information and put it into daily practice as we facilitate this development. We are passionate about providing children from all backgrounds the opportunity to gain through play what they are lacking in our modern world, traditional school, and the limitations of their environment. We are accessible, through our “Everybody Plays” program, to underprivileged populations, by charging $1 admission to families on SNAP or Medicaid. We welcome and are accessible to children in wheelchairs and special needs children; our museum is beneficial to these children because of the space to move around and the ability to guide their own play. The museum is truly a place where “Everybody Plays.”
About Nancy Schultz, Executive Director
Executive Director Nancy Schultz, an experienced educator, recognized the need for a children’s museum in Galveston to provide a venue for learning through play, where all forms of childhood education would be enhanced in an informal and enriched environment. In 2011, Nancy presented the concept of the museum to Betty Massey, the Executive Director of the Mary Moody Northen Endowment, who shared Nancy’s enthusiasm and recognized the benefits of creating a place for children and their families, Island residents and visitors, to learn, play, explore, and create together.
The Mary Moody Northen Endowment generously provided the space to house the museum on the ground floor of the Moody Mansion. Nancy enlisted a creative and dedicated group of volunteers to develop the museum, plan exhibits, and procure the necessary funding to launch the museum. In April 2013, a museum preview event was held, followed by Bugfest! in May which was well received by attending families. Community leaders were selected to serve on the Board of Directors, and the Galveston Children’s Museum was legally incorporated in July 2013.
Interest in supporting the development of a children’s museum for Galveston grew quickly among firmly established community entities, including Island ETC, Texas A&M Galveston, the Galveston Restaurant Group, and UTMB. These organizations demonstrated their support of the museum by committing resources for exhibits and partnering with the museum to provide marketing support for special events.
The museum opened in July 2014 and looks forward to providing the children of Galveston and its visitors a safe and engaging place to learn through play for many years to come.