Discovery museum

Community Spotlight: Explore More Discovery Museum

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — What began as a grassroots organization in 2002 has become a centerpiece of downtown Harrisonburg. Children and families come from all over to play and explore.

“We believe children learn best through hands-on, authentic experiences,” said Lisa Shull, executive director of the Explore More Discovery Museum.

Three floors filled with 15 hands-on experiences suitable for children ages 2-12, allowing them to explore their world through the sense of touch.

“We try to give them multi-sensory opportunities,” Shull said. “If someone says something to you, you probably won’t remember it as if you lived it, manipulated it, and enjoyed the experience.”

Experiences that include learning to count money, building from scratch, and even trying to make the news.

“I think it just gives families a place to go,” Shull said. “They know it’s safe, they know their kids are learning. It is truly a source of community pride.

The nonprofit organization quickly adapted once the coronavirus pandemic hit. Staff and volunteers have temporarily shifted gears, but are slowly returning to normal. They are open for reservations to limit crowd sizes.

“A large portion of our target audience cannot be vaccinated at this time,” Shull said. “Some parents are happy to be here, they think our safety procedures are excellent and they are ok with that. Some are going to be a little more hesitant and maybe take their time to come back. We totally understand that.

The Explore More Discovery Museum depends on much of its funding from fundraising, sponsorships and donations.

For more information on upcoming events and the museum, visit its website at iexploremore.com.

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