After a two-month hiatus, the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center in Sugar Land will be re-opening with new changes designed to keep children and families safe from COVID-19.
After a two-month hiatus, the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center in Sugar Land will be re-opening with new changes designed to keep children and families safe from COVID-19. From reservations for entry to mask requirements, the Discovery Center has enforced a wide range of hygiene regulations in order for families and children to enjoy a day away from home and learn something new, said Leti Luna, an associate to the center’s Director of PR and Promotions.
“We are following recommendations on the state and county level and also the CDC. We're keeping everything at 20% capacity. That’s 30 people an hour. You'll also notice that we have a lot of hand sanitizing stations that have recently been installed. We also have some new panels so that way--even though you're having face to face interaction--you have a protective barrier,” said Luna.
This isn’t the only thing the Discovery Center has added though. When it came to keeping children engaged, they had to get creative, said Luna. Along with new health guidelines, the museum has added new activities that families can participate in together while maintaining social distancing.
“Another thing that's really changed is the museum flow,” said Luna. “So, we've introduced something that's called the Epic Adventure, and essentially, it's a series of activities where kids have to go find different clues. The reason for this is that families are going in one direct path. So that way we can help them maintain social distancing but also give them something to do and something to work on together as a family.”
As a sister location to the Children’s Museum in Houston and a non-profit organization, the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center has also contributed to children in the community before and during COVID-19. Partnered with many different organizations around the Fort Bend and Harris County area, the Discovery Center provided families with low incomes a chance to give their child the same opportunities for education as other families that can afford the Discovery Center, said Luna. With afterschool programs and ticket give-aways, children in the Fort Bend area were still able to experience the Discovery Center despite financial difficulties.
“We're basically trying to make sure that children's families that may not have the means to pay for a visit (are) still getting the same type of education. That way we can really serve the entire community and no one misses out on the opportunity we have for kids to learn,” said Luna.
Although COVID-19 closed the Discovery Center, starting in March, this didn’t stop them from reaching out to all children to provide them with equal opportunities for education, said Luna. With virtual lessons from educators around the Fort Bend area, kids from all over could connect and learn from home.
“That was our way of getting educators from Fort Bend and from our Houston location to still connect with families even though they couldn't visit us physically. And that has been our way of continuing to connect to everyone while we've been closed since March,” said Luna.
Staff at the Discovery Center are excited to be reopening and can’t wait for families to visit, Luna said.
“What we're trying to do is go along with our mission of bringing child-centered learning that really embraces lifelong learning. So, mask up and come visit us!” said Luna.