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Playing it Safe: Our Vision

For more than 25 years, you trusted Above & Beyond Children’s Museum with your little ones – we don’t take your trust lightly!  

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Playing it Safe

For more than 25 years, you trusted Above & Beyond Children’s Museum with your little ones –we don’t take your trust lightly!  

In March, when our space was no longer a safe place to learn and grow, we closed our doors. Our programming stopped, the staff was furloughed, and new exhibit plans were put on hold. Now, as we plan to reopen, our priority is to make our space as safe as possible for your family to return. Our new safety measures come with new costs. New equipment and materials to
clean and disinfect the Museum are expensive! In addition, we need to bring our staff back to plan for new types of programming and experiences; and we still need to cover the costs of keeping our lights on.  

We need to raise $60,000 to reopen the Museum as safely as possible.  

If your family is able to give, please consider a donation to the Museum so we can one day again provide a space for more than 40,000 little ones to fish off our USS Efroymson ship, drive the firetruck, put on a puppet show, visit the Barnyard, make music, and more.

THANK YOU for your continued support of the Above & Beyond Children’s Museum. If you have questions at this time call me at (920) 458-4263 or email jackie@abkids.org.  

With gratitude,
Jackie

Where we’ve come from...

The Above & Beyond Children’s Museum (ABCM) was officially incorporated as a nonprofit in 1993 when it moved into its current location - a 127-year-old historic corner building featuring a life-size sailboat slicing through the building’s north and south walls, and rooftop. After more than two decades of flat to negative progress, these past couple years have seen tremendous growth for ABCM.

Where we stand now...

The Museum was set to launch into its 2020 summer season with a robust assortment of STEAM summer camps, wellness activities for all ages, collaborations with community organizations, and plenty of field trips and birthday parties in a newly updated Party Room. We had a community-wide event planned to “unwhale” The Happiness Project whale mural. In addition, our Purple Octopus Playground was scheduled to be completed this summer and plans were moving forward with our Culture Exchange exhibit that will replace the Siegl Circus exhibit. 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, on March, 15, 2020, the Museum decided to close its doors for the health and safety of our families, caregivers, staff, and volunteers. This meant all exhibit plans were put on hold indefinitely, we were forced to furlough staff, and programming ground to a halt. 

What are we doing about it?

In order to meet this unprecedented obstacle head on, ABCM has re-evaluated all of our programming and created a comprehensive Reopening Plan. We are bringing our offerings outside the Museum walls and into the communities we serve through strategic partnerships and talented staff members. Our Recovery Task Force worked long hours to put together a comprehensive Reopening Plan that follows all requirements laid out by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and Association of Children’s Museums (ACM). Programming and details of the reopening plan are available as a separate document. 

Photo Courtesy of Whitney Morales Photography

How can you help?

We are now constrained by the new health restrictions placed on interactive museums in ways we have never experienced before. We have been receiving messages from families seeking a place to bring their children that allows respite from the challenges the outbreak has wrought on the community. Our families’ needs have to be weighed against the knowledge that the demand to come inside the museum will be lower and maintaining our patrons’ loyalty and trust in our safety and health precautions will be paramount. 


The Museum is looking to raise $130,000 in order to keep our staff on payroll and our expenses paid through the end of this year while we work to reopen. We ask that you consider supporting the museum so we can make it through this unprecedented situation. 

2020 Playing it Safe Campaign

A switch in programming...

ABCM is converting our summer camps to virtual platforms, finding unique ways to connect with our community through mental health and wellness. 

Spy Club, Junior Scientists Club, and Full STEAM Ahead.

The Museum’s summer camps will include both virtual and take-home components for families to engage in. 

Wellness Wednesday 

The program will bring together different instructors of yoga, meditation, tai chi, and education on healthy eating practices. Sessions will be held in The Children’s Garden, our outdoor green space, where social distance measures can be followed.

Adopt-a-Plot 

Our reformatted program offers garden plots to community members through a pay-as-you-wish donation alternative pricing model. 

Summer Activity Packages

We have partnered with Boys & Girls Club of Sheboygan County, Nourish Farms, and Mental Health of America Sheboygan County to offer interactive kits that include STEM, art, social/emotional learning, and physical fitness activities alongside a wellness component, and a "Garden-in-a-Bag." ABCM will become a curbside pick-up site for these kits in July.
 

Little Free Library Drop Off 

We are working with Sheboygan Service Club to be the collection site for families to share paintings, drawings, messages, and letters of encouragement with local care facilities. The creations will be picked up by volunteers of the Sheboygan Service Club and delivered to care facilities in our community.  

Downtown Happiness Walk 

The community-wide event to celebrate The Happiness Project is being reformatted to include all businesses and organizations that span 8th Street. Each will be encouraged to decorate their windows in ways that inspire happiness. 



A comprehensive reopening plan

Using federal and state guidelines, input from other children’s museums, and subject matter experts, the Museum has adopted a fluid approach to reopening dependent on community-spread metrics and results of surveys sent to our members and guests. 

  

If the Museum opens before the complete eradication of COVID-19 in our community, the plan includes:  

  • A new online ticketing system with two-hour time slots will be implemented. 

  • We will upgrade to an even more rigorous cleaning and disinfecting plan and protocol between each two-hour time slot.  

  • We will adhere to capacity limits lower than existing mandates in the name of safety. 

  • Guests over 2 years old will be required to wear face coverings.  

  • The Museum will provide masks for all visitors over two years old. 

  • We will update our ventilation system and replace restroom fixtures (faucets, soap dispensers, and hand towels) with approved alternatives. 

  • We will install a Plexiglas barrier at the front desk and hand sanitizing stations throughout the Museum. 

 

Our entire plan is available for your perusal upon request.