The idea for a Children's Museum in Laredo began in the 1980s when the late Cecilia Martinez Claflin, as a curator for the Nuevo Santander Museum, saw the need for a place where children learn with hands-on experiences versus the traditional exhibits-behind-glass model. She researched the concept and soon invited a group of educators and concerned citizens to establish goals that would determine the direction and feasibility of such a museum. The museum incorporated on November 26, 1990 and applied for and received a 501©(3) non-profit educational institution status. The Laredo Children's Museum officially opened its doors on September 11, 1991. Since then, the Museum has provided families of Webb County, South Texas, and Northern Mexico a bi-cultural and creative learning experience through hands-on exhibits and outreach programming. Children’s museums are a growth phenomenon today with over 220 nation-wide and between 80 – 100 capital projects planned. Children’s museums are uniquely dedicated to providing a safe place for inquiry- based learning that explores the natural environment and encourages the creativity and individual expression that is necessary for personal growth and self-esteem. The informal learning environments they provide are increasingly being recognized for their important contribution to the overall education of our children and of their communities as a whole. A children’s museum is a unique resource which engenders a learning culture for the entire community.
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