Creative Discovery Museum Wins Universal Design Award

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Chris Petulla, Michah Hutcherson and Judy work on flowers, with volunteer Timothy Goode in foreground. Click to enlarge.
Chris Petulla, Michah Hutcherson and Judy work on flowers, with volunteer Timothy Goode in foreground. Click to enlarge.

The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and VSA Arts announced at their annual meeting in Boston that the Creative Discovery Museum of Chattanooga has won one of three national awards for exhibits and initiatives that demonstrate learning standards for inclusive practice.

Creative Discovery Museum is one of three museums nation-wide to receive the 2005 Universal Design for Learning Award. The award is a $15,000 grant to support programs that increase access to art and education through the arts for children with disabilities. Recipients must develop replicable models of their programs for application in other museums across the nation. Award winners were selected by an impartial committee of museum professionals.



“We are particularly proud of this award because it honors our staff, who celebrate the abilities of all children, and it recognizes our commitment to be as accessible as possible to all the families and children of our community,” said the museum’s executive director, Henry Schulson, who has headed the organization since June of 1997. He accepted the award at ACM’s annual InterActivity conference in Boston.

Club Discovery was developed in 2000 as an after school program for children with visual impairments and other disabilities. It is designed to engage children (both with and without special needs) in learning through creative exploration, through the guidance of Museum experts in the arts and sciences, and through museum exhibits.

The museum works to include children who might not otherwise participate in a museum experience or a school field trip. Museum experts engage Club Discovery members in activities that include team building and personal discovery, in an effort to help them grow as lifelong museum goers and volunteers. Club Discovery is designed for children with special needs, ages 8- to 12-years-old, and their typically developing peers. After age 12, Club Discovery graduates can move into CDM’s Museum Apprentice Program and become teen volunteers.

The museum feels it has achieved its goals when children with special needs learn to be comfortable and confident when they visit and explore any museum environment, officials said. After completing Club Discovery’s program, participating children receive a family membership to the museum. As members, children and their families continue to visit the museum and build on the educational foundation that was laid out during the program, it was stated.

Randy Jestice, assistant volunteer manager, and Joshua Wall work on collages for museum guests
Randy Jestice, assistant volunteer manager, and Joshua Wall work on collages for museum guests

Chattanooga National Cemetery Flag Pick-up Completed

Through an outpouring of support from the media and the public, the Chattanooga National Cemetery was able to pick up and secure all of the U.S. flags that were placed on the gravesites for Memorial Day. The community effort allowed officials to secure all flags within two days, which is usually a seven-day project.  The cemetery received volunteers of all ages throughout ... (click for more)

James And Josephine Webb Honored For Donation Of Webb Building In Cleveland

James and Josephine Webb were honored on Tuesday, by the Cleveland City Council for the donation of the Webb Building to the city. Mr. Webb's former law office has been removed to open the spring at that location. Taylor Spring is the site where the city began. Historic research is underway and planning has begun for a park. The Webbs were presented with a plaque expressing the ... (click for more)

County Schools Going Back To Drawing Board On Budget After Tax Increase Rejected

The County School Board is going back to the drawing board on its budget after County Mayor Jim Coppinger and County Commission members declined to go along with a property tax increase. County Mayor Coppinger said he is planning to hold the line on taxes in the upcoming budget. Supt. Rick Smith had been pushing for a 40-cent property tax boost to fund an additional $34 million ... (click for more)

Erlanger Budget Foresees $29.4 Million In Revenue From Operations

Erlanger Health System officials said they anticipate income of $29.4 million from operations for the upcoming fiscal year.   The projection includes a 10.3 percent increase in outpatient surgeries, 11.9 percent increase in inpatient charges, and nine percent increase in net patient revenues.   Officials said bedside nurses will receive another ... (click for more)

County Officials Need To Provide A Decent Animal Shelter

Once upon a time, a group of citizens concerned about the decaying building housing the Humane Educational Society on Highland Park raised their voices in an outcry about the deplorable state of the HES facility and the over-population of unwanted and unspayed/unneutered cats and dogs in Hamilton County.   What happened then was that the City Council stepped ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Is It Ever Worth It?

There is a better-than-average chance General John Kelly could soon be named as the new Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. He’s one of four men who have been mentioned in prudent fashion to follow General Joseph Dunford (remember that name for a few minutes) as head of the Corps. General Dunford, who held the job less than a year, has just been chosen by President Obama ... (click for more)