Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Children's Museums

Recently, I went with two colleagues to visit MY MUSEUM, the children’s museum in Monterey, California. One of our staff members, Jef, volunteers there, and he wanted to see how we might work with the museum to benefit children in our area. We arrived right behind a busload of children -- we were lucky to see the museum so completely in action. I think people sometimes mistake the word “museum” as a label for buildings that have glass cases full of dead things. Children’s museums couldn’t be farther from that description.

At Discount School Supply and Earlychildhood NEWS, we have had the opportunity to work with staff members from children’s museums in developing and evaluating products. They always have a wonderful perspective because they serve children across wide age, socio-economic and ability ranges, and those children are often accompanied by family members. The variety of experiences going on in any given day is incredibly varied. I remember being invited to the Boston Children’s Museum when its Playspace designed for children aged 0-3 was introduced. Now every member of the family is welcome at the children’s museum.

I have observed that there is often a missing link between preschools and children’s museums. Like preschools, children’s museums work hard to offer programs that combine fun with valuable educational experience. The museum can be a favorite destination for local preschools and a great weekend activity recommendation for families. In turn, museums benefit from working with preschools to create activities and exhibits that build on the classroom work at the school. That stronger partnership would help to build the link between the preschool and the community, it would introduce more patrons to the museum, and it would certainly enrich educational experiences for the children.

On our tour of MY MUSEUM, we saw children using our “Colorations” branded art products everywhere. Believe me, we loved that. We also loved the facilities offered in MY MUSEUM; we saw a guitar-playing crocodile on the little theatre stage – and we saw children being “gophers” and popping up through domed holes on the museum’s golf course exhibit (after all, we are just minutes away from Pebble Beach). We’re developing a program to work more closely with MY MUSEUM. We’ll let you know how it goes. (For information about museums in your area, visit the Association of Children’s Museum’s website at I’m Judy McGuinn, President of Discount School Supply.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Let Us Alert You To The Best Deals and Educational Resources at Discount School Supply!

Hi Discount School Supply Shoppers!

My name is Bret and I'm in charge of putting the best deals Discount School Supply has to offer in your email inbox. As the Email Marketing Specialist at Discount School Supply, it’s my job to alert you to opportunities to save big money on great products, show you sneak previews of brand new products, and point you to easy-to-use resources for your classroom or home.

But my job doesn't stop there. While low prices may entice you to open an email from us, we know that you're not always in the shopping mood. My job then becomes to provide you with other information relevant to you. For instance, if you've told us that you operate a Head Start classroom, I can email to tell you about recent updates to the Head Start Resource Center on our website. Or, if you are a parent of a young child, I would suggest you visit SmarterKids® Parent's Resources to help you strengthen the connection between school and home. Discount School Supply knows that each shopper has different needs, so we do our best to provide something for everyone!

My favorite feature, included weekly in emails to our email subscribers, is step-by-step educational activities. Sometimes the activities are fun arts & crafts that are great for an entire classroom of kids, or simply for the time between dinner and the bath. At other times, the activities are meant to augment your curriculum with a fun project to keep kids interested. It’s hard not to read through these activities and remember back to the classroom getting ready to cut some construction paper or opening a jar of paint for a fun craft.

It’s been fun telling you about my job! Help stay in touch by signing up for emails on our website and I’ll keep you informed of everything that’s happening at Discount School Supply.

Also, don’t forget to post a comment with suggestions of what you’d like to see in emails or on the Discount School Supply website