Press Releases & Announcements
George Foundation Pledges $1M Challenge Grant to Children's Museum Fort Bend Project
Museum to open location in summer 2015
HOUSTON (June 20, 2012) – The George Foundation has pledged a $1 million challenge grant to the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center: A Very Special Project of the Children’s Museum of Houston. The Museum plans to open a year-round location at the historic Imperial Development in the summer of 2015.
To meet the George Foundation’s challenge, the Museum must raise a matching $1 million by October 2013 from Fort Bend-based donors. The Discovery Center will occupy a 10,000 square foot restored building; itwill house six exhibits with an additional outdoor space, and will give the Museum the opportunity to enrich the educational lives of Fort Bend’s children by expanding cultural and educational family-focused opportunities prevalent in Houston. The total fundraising goal of the entire project is $3.65 million.
“The facility will be a wonderful addition to Sugar Land and most certainly will enhance Imperial’s appeal as Fort Bend’s premier destination,” notes Imperial Sugar Land Genera Manager Shay Shafie.
“All of us at the Children’s Museum are honored to receive this challenge from the George Foundation for the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center,” said Children’s Museum of Houston Executive Director Tammie Kahn. “The additional outpouring of positive support from the Fort Bend community for this project has been overwhelming. We are already hard at work bringing to life the ideas that will make the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center a true landmark for all of Fort Bend’s families,” said Kahn.
The Museum has delivered outreach programming to low income families living in Fort Bend since the mid 1990s. It has worked with more than 40 partners in the community to ensure that underserved populations get free access to the Museum and to raise awareness about the Museum’s family learning programming. Additionally, parents in Richmond, Rosenberg and Sugar Land have benefited from the Museum’s Parent Stars program, a school-based initiative which provides bilingual resources and support so they can increase the learning and literacy skills of their children.
In 2006, a group of Fort Bend citizens asked the Museum to consider opening a satellite location in the area. The two following years, the Museum conducted summer venues at available retail spaces within Town Square in Sugar Land, each for six weeks. Those summer efforts were well received with 21,000 visitors each year.
“I am excited so many more children, parents and teachers will have the opportunity to experience the wonder of our Children's Museum of Houston,” said CMH board member, Sugar Land resident, and Capital Campaign Committee Co-Chair Charlene Pate. “The Fort Bend community values education, and there is no place more exciting to learn than in our Museum,” said Pate.
The George Foundation’s mission is to benefit the citizens of Fort Bend County. It has been involved with the Museum for more than two decades and was instrumental in the Museum’s 2009 expansion.
“The George Foundation Trustees are very interested in fostering the development of Fort Bend’s children. They also know many parents wish to provide access to as many learning experiences as possible for their children, “said George Foundation Grant Officer Dee Koch. “Having the Children’s Discovery Center in Fort Bend County will give more parents the ability to enrich their children’s lives right in their own backyard. The Children’s Discovery Center will not only be an asset today but for years to come for thousands of Fort Bend County families,” said Koch.
Leading Discovery Center fundraising will be Fort Bend resident and campaign manager, Mandi Bronsell, who has 15 years of experience in fundraising. Bronsell has lived in Fort Bend her entire life and is now raising her three children in Richmond. “There’s no place like the Children’s Museum anywhere in the Fort Bend area,” said Bronsell. “Families in Fort Bend will be enthusiastic about the project and will embrace it with open arms once they realize the potential it has in creating learning opportunities for their children.”
For giving opportunities, please contact campaign manager Mandi Bronsell at (281) 282-7476 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE GEORGE FOUNDATION
By aligning Albert and Mamie George’s original vision with the current overwhelming need to help the economically disadvantaged, The Trustees of The George Foundation strive to support organizations and programs that assist in developing strong, stable families across Fort Bend County. The George Foundation’s approach to the funding of grants is simple –to use its resources for the people of Fort Bend County and to support, strengthen and empower families and children through a broad continuum of community-based services that meet the needs and values of the community.
ABOUT CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF HOUSTON
America’s No. 1 Children’s Museum” by Parents Magazine, winner of Nickelodeon Parents’ Picks “Best Museum in Houston 2009 & 2010,” Click2Houston’s “Best Museum 2010,” the Children’s Museum of Houstonis a Citysearch.com’s nationwide 5-star children’s museum. It is dedicated to transforming communities through innovative, child-centered learning. Founded in 1980 and housed in a whimsical building designed by internationally acclaimed architect Robert Venturi, the Children’s Museum of Houston offers a multitude of innovative exhibits and bilingual learning programs for kids ages birth to 12 years. The Museum serves more than 1,100,000 people annually and operates as a 501(c)(3) under the direction of a