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Golisano Children’s Museum hosting parent-child learning workshops, fundraiser on Friday

Staff at the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples noticed a difference in children during the pandemic, and now they’re doing something about it.

The museum is hosting the six-week workshop series “C’mon and Shine On,” giving children and parents an environment to develop social and emotional learning. Topics will include effective communication, feelings, self-esteem, social connections, resiliency building and healthy living.

Talking to WINK News via Zoom, 4-year-old Madison Lee is all smiles. For her, the Children’s Museum’s hands-on exhibits have been a source of fun and education. But this spring, it also became a go-to spot for her mom, Alice Lee, to learn as well.

“We did all six workshops and, honestly, it was great,” Lee said.

The museum launched this six-week workshop for parents and children through a partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University. Dena Rae Hancock, the museum’s executive director, says that the inspiration for these workshops came from not seeing their child visitors attack exhibits with their usual enthusiasm. It raised a red flag.

“There was a hesitancy to explore,” Hancock said. “There was a lack of, almost… safety. Shine On has offered us the opportunity to take learning and exploration that normally happens at a fun place like C’mon and make it a whole level of neuroscience.”

Lead by master’s students studying mental health counseling at FGCU, parents and children are split up into groups and focus on a different topic each week. Through the exhibits, kids learn what words like “kindness” or “resiliency” mean, and parents learn how to teach those key social and emotional skills.

“The workshop taught me: Validate their feelings, think about, you know, why they’re throwing a tantrum in this moment, then think from their perspective,” Lee said.

Madison Lee, who had already been visibly excited, ran out of the Zoom call early to say hello to the grandparents she hadn’t seen in over a year.

To register, email [email protected] or call (239) 260-1600. Each group session is $5 per child/parent or $25 for all six sessions. The workshops will continue this fall.

On Friday, the museum is also holding its annual fundraiser, in which anyone can enter a raffle to win a 3-year lease for a 2021 Range Rover Sport HSE. Click here to enter the raffle.

Reporter:Lindsey Sablan
Writer:Joey Pellegrino
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