The Blue Ridge Children's Museum concept was born in January 2017. Karen Orlando moved to Waynesboro the summer before and was instantly taken with the vast beauty, history, and culture of the Central Shenandoah Valley. She had worked for over 20 years as an educator and was eager to get involved in her new community. The Grow Waynesboro Program provided an opportunity for Karen to think big and the Blue Ridge Children's Museum was born.
The program provided Karen with resources, community connections, and a deeper understanding of starting a business. We were able to hit the ground running with connecting with people throughout the community. We started with a series of community meetings and had info booths at area festivals and were quickly able to build a strong volunteer base. The community response to the BRCM was strong and eager to make this happen. The community is ready to have a space where families and educators of young children can come to play and learn.
With our volunteers we were able to participate in the Cool Breeze Festival, Fall Foliage Festival, and create marketing tools, begin the museum design concept, search for a building space and much more.
We established our board of directors and became a registered 501 (c)(3) in September 2017 and have been working hard to bring the BRCM to life.
We have made it one of our priorities to support area businesses and have been working hard to partner with businesses so that we can support each other and grow. One project that has come out of this effort is Museum Without Walls business partnership.
We have also begun partnering with area schools and libraries where we will be bringing programing in the near future.
We are truly grateful for the tremendous community support we have already had and all the connections we have made with so many people eager to serve our young children, which have allowed us to come so far so fast. We have big plans for the future of the museum and are thrilled to already be working in our beautiful Central Shenandoah Community.
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