University Partnership with Children’s Museum Moves Forward

Commerce Texas | August 27, 2017

The Board of Directors of the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum recently voted to move ahead on a unique partnership proposal offered by Texas A&M University-Commerce President Ray Keck. The vision Keck shared with the board members was for a new facility south of campus and on the grounds of the former university president’s home. This new complex would boast both a $30-$40 million agricultural exposition center and an adjoining new Northeast Texas Children’s Museum. The concept of a joint facility is one Dr. Randy Harp, the director of the university’s School of Agriculture, began formulating as a candidate for his current position. According to Dr. Harp, “This university’s farm and laboratory complex is a valuable asset in East Texas. I recognized immediately the tremendous opportunities we might have for sharing our research, technology, best practices and hands-on learning approach to sustainable agriculture with students and educators of all ages.”

According to Dr. Keck, “We are extremely grateful to the Board of the Children’s Museum for agreeing to partner with the University. We together dream of a new museum which will incorporate all the activities of our School of Agriculture, soon to be “College of Agriculture.” I am confident we can achieve the goal of locating the museum in the new agricultural exposition center complex. Children will experience a full introduction to life with animals, on a farm or ranch, and to how we imagine sustainable food production. We are living in a moment when visions and actions, pursued wisely, can transform our environment.”

Since the Museum’s current lease agreement with the University will expire sometime in September 2018, a desire to find a solution to keep this valued resource in Commerce, Texas became a priority. This need in conjunction with the University’s long term plan to replace the current agricultural facility provided a mutually beneficial solution. According to Sharline Freeman, the director of the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum, “The Children’s Museum is very excited about being located adjacent to the School of Agriculture. Not only will the Children’s Museum continue delivering hands-on imaginative play, but we will soon be able to offer an enriched curriculum that includes animals and agriculture. This new Northeast Texas Children’s Museum will be a one-of-a-kind resource in northeast Texas, attracting visitors to a new facility, the university, and the City of Commerce.”

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University Partnership with Children’s Museum
Left to right Dr. Randy Harp, Director of TAMUC School of Agriculture; Donna Tavener, President of Board of Directors for the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum; Sharline Freeman, Executive Director of the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum; and Dr. Ray Keck, President of Texas A&M University – Commerce.


Brookshire’s Donation Supports the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum

May 30, Commerce, Texas

As Brookshire’s Grocery carts travel at the Children’s Museum, the “Customer in Training” sign can be seen just above the heads of the young customers.  Since 2009, the Brookshire’s Grocery area has been one of the most popular areas in the Children’s Museum.  Their continuing support goes toward supporting this exhibit. “As the items are constantly purchased and then restocked, many of the empty containers need to be replaced with Brookshire’s Grocery items, “said Sharline Freeman, Executive Director of the Children’s Museum.

Brookshire’s Grocery has included signage to add to the authenticity of the area.  Dennis Anderson of Kartridge Korner added a “beep” for scanning each item.  Each new addition has resulted in the increased popularity of the area. Young shoppers sometimes clear the shelves in their enthusiasm to scan and purchase the items.

As the number of visitors has increased each year at the Children’s Museum, the Brookshire’s Grocery area has had additional “Customer in Training” young shoppers.  “This has been a great partnership.  Our annual Easter Egg Hunt is sponsored by Brookshire’s Grocery. We appreciate their continuing support.”, said Donna Tavener, President of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum.

Brookshire's Donation to Northeast Texas Children's Museum

Broc Hohenberger, Manager of Commerce Brookshire’s, presents the Brookshire’s donation to Sharline Freeman, Executive Director of the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum. The donation of Brookshire’s supports the very popular Brookshire’s Grocery in the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum.

First Children’s Health Fair at Children’s Museum

First Children’s Health Fair at Children’s Museum

Children’s Museum Begins Year with New Event – Children’s Health Fair

The Northeast Texas Children’s Museum is pleased to introduce a new event for children in northeast Texas. The first Children’s Health Fair will be held at the Children’s Museum on Saturday, January 16 from 9:30 to 11:30 am.

The event will include free admission. Hands-on activities will highlight children’s health. For example, after exercise children will compare their oxygen level and pulse rate to their resting levels using oximeters. Lonnie, the Museum’s MegaLung, will provide children an opportunity to walk through a lung. Children’s safety will be emphasized as a children’s ID card with picture and fingerprints will be provided by the Commerce Police Department. With Glo-Gel children can see the cleanliness of their hands before and after washing. And, of course, the Children’s Museum will be open for play and exploration of more than fifty different play areas.

Children's Health Fair
Children may take a walk through the MegaLung at the Children’s Health Fair on Saturday, January 16 from 9:30 to 11:30. The MegaLung is the only one in the state of Texas and was received by the Children’s Museum as part of the Tobacco Grant from Hunt Regional Hospital Foundation.

“With the current emphasis on children’s health, the Children’s Museum wanted to play a role in emphasizing this to families and to our community. We do lessons throughout the year on good health, but we wanted to have one morning for health education for children in our area,” said Sharline Freeman Director of the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum. In addition to health activities set up in the Children’s Museum and the play areas which will be open, children will receive a Children’s Activity Book. This book will be given to children who participate in the Children’s Health Fair and then will be distributed throughout Hunt County.

“We appreciate the sponsors for the event and for the Children’s Activity Book. Hunt Regional Healthcare has played a large role in this event. Other sponsors include McDaniel Family Dentistry, Commerce Veterinary Clinic, Live Oak Professional Center, Primary Care Associates, Atmos Energy, and Community Health Service Agency, Inc. We appreciate these groups for making the Children’s Health Fair possible,” said Elana Barton, Director of Development for the Children’s Museum.

“We hope this event will impact the area as we emphasize the health of our children,” said Beckey Thompson, Board President. For more information, call the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum at 903-886-6055.