Junior League boosts dream of a downtown children’s museum

By: Joshua Lloyd, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled, and eXplore is trying to do just that.

eXplore, a nonprofit organization formerly called the Children’s Museum of the Pee Dee, is on a mission to bring a permanent children’s museum to downtown Florence.

On Monday, the Junior League of Florence presented the group with a $25,000 check to go toward making that dream a reality. The money will go to the group in increments of $5,000 for the next five years.

“We’re happy to continue our support of the children’s museum, and we’re proud of our partnership with them and the work they do,” said Lauren Vause, president of the Junior League of Florence.

This fall eXplore will offer a museum-quality exhibit at the Florence library inside the children’s section. The group has rented a traveling exhibit from the Imaginarium Company, titled The Secrets of Bees, as a result of the donation.

Caroline Genoble, president of eXplore, said donations like this help the organization bring family-friendly, educational exhibits to Florence and help with the long-term goal of opening a permanent facility.

“This donation is making the exhibit possible, and we hope it brings more children to the library and becomes an outlet for them,” she said. “We hope to have our own facility soon. We’re looking at facilities downtown, and we’re waiting to see who can help and what we can afford.”

The Secrets of Bees exhibit will be displayed in the Greenberg Children’s Library at the Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation Library from Oct. 11 through Dec. 16. The exhibit will open to the public on Wednesday, Oct. 11, during general library hours, and it will be free to the public.

In addition to The Secrets of Bees, the library will host storybook reading sessions, special guest visits, interactive art projects, evening tours and more in celebration of the exhibit.

eXplore is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was chartered in 2009. For more information, visit childrensmuseumofthepeedee.org.

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