Children’s Museum (noun) definition:
Children’s museums are institutions that provide exhibits and programs to stimulate informal learning experiences for children. In contrast with traditional museums that typically have a hands-off policy regarding exhibits, children’s museums feature interactive exhibits that are designed to be manipulated by children
What does ECM do?
Here at ECM, our main goal-and our work really-is to provide innovative, joyful learning experiences for the children in our community. We feel very privileged to do this work and we see children and their families from all over the St. Louis and Metro East areas. In fact, we served families from 125 different area communities last year. ECM is a 501 c(3) non-profit and while our operating revenue (admission, membership, and program registration fees) covers our operating costs (staffing, supplies, building and exhibit maintenance, etc.) we really exist because of the generosity of our community. This generosity can be seen in the names of local businesses and individuals who have made our exhibits possible, and who we are SO grateful to.
We believe firmly in the power of play as a tool for childhood learning. With community support over the last year we opened eight new exhibits that are on the cutting edge of early learning including our beautiful Discovery Garden. Our attendance doubled as we welcomed 24,000 visitors. Our education team ran 76 programs for families and 78 field trips and outreach programs to schools. Through those programs we were able to reach over 4,000 additional children with our unique, experiential learning activities.
We gave back to our community by becoming a member of the nation wide Museums for All initiative, offering free admission to families on food stamp assistance. We partnered up with the Land of Goshen Farmer’s Market to plant the Little Goshen Giving Garden. In addition to teaching little ones about gardening, this garden supplies the Market Foundation’s Beet Box truck with healthy, organic produce for under served communities. We offered many free programs for the community including our monthly story time: Lap Time, Farm Day, National Ice Cream Day, and Photos with Santa. We serve as a collection site for Support the Girls and as a Bag Share location in partnership with Bring Your Own Glen-Ed. We host a Little Free Library in our Discovery Garden. With our Halloween Candy Collection in 2018, we sent over 400 pounds of candy to cheer up our troops overseas. We are committed to our community because, you see, ECM is not just a museum. We are a part of Edwardsville where families meet, friendships are made, children learn, local history is preserved, and-maybe most importantly-FUN is had by all!
When you support ECM through your yearly membership purchase or through a donation of any size, you are giving a gift to the children of our community. You’re supporting learning, growing, giggles, family bonding, and new friendships. You make all of that possible for the littlest members of our community.