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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Please Touch Museum

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children's Museums, Museums

Mission: Please Touch Museum’s mission is to enrich the lives of children by creating learning opportunities through play. We believe young children learn best when they are engaged in playful, hands-on experiences in a social environment that encourages interaction with others; and we dedicate ourselves to ensuring that children, regardless of economic background, race, religion, gender, or disability, have equal access to these experiences. Please Touch Museum’s hands-on approach to education has been validated by the research of experts like Dr. Howard Gardner of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He views a child’s sustained relationship with a museum as “a rich source of engaging projects which can pervade all educational environments, from home to school to workplace.”

Target demographics: Families with young children.

Geographic areas served: Greater Philadelphia region

Programs: Please Touch Museum has sponsored multiple events through Variety, the Children’s Charity of Philadelphia, including Autism and Disability Awareness nights. Beginning in January 2010, Please Touch Museum will open Access/ABILITY, a traveling exhibition designed for children ages 5-12 and their families. This 1,200-square-foot, hands-on disability awareness exhibit presents people with disabilities participating in everyday activities and settings that are familiar to children. This exhibit will be accessible for children and families with physical, visual and hearing impairments and will raise disability awareness among museum visitors. The exhibit is sponsored by the Widener Memorial Foundation in Aid of Handicapped Children.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Please Touch Museuam is dedicated to educating our children through play and various other learning experiences. The new location at Memorial Hall opened in October, 2008, and for the past two years, over 500,000 visitors each year have been amazed with the transformation of what was originally built as the original Phila. Art Museum during the Centennial back in 1876 to what is now one of the most highly recognized Children's Museums in the U.S., and perhahps the World. Children and adults visit the Museum via daily admission fees or annual memberships, but to make sure that the audience of potential visitors is expanded, the Musueam offers free admission to young children attending Philadelphia schools, as well as partnering with certain of the PTM sponsors to offer discounted admissions. The phenomenal staff is trained to ensure that each child's visit is fun AND educational. There is so much to do that it is practically impossible to cover the entire museum in one visit, plus the various activities are so enjoyable, the children really enjoy participating in the various offerings time and time again. Finally, let's not forget about the adults--the feeling of providing such a rewarding set of varied experiences for one's children is probably enough, however, in addition, the adults attending will be amazed at the preservation and restoration of the 1876 facility, plus will be fascinated with the large replica of the Centennial (also known as the 1876 World's Fair) on the first floor of the Museum. A fantastic family activity!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

PTM is not only a wonderful place for families to create "memorable moments" together, it also is truly a place for childrent to be in control and to exercise their creative, inquisitive sides to the fullest extent. Just about everything is self directed and non structured to encourage exploration at their own pace. In addition, the Museum has an amazing number of comunity outreach programs to attempt to make its resources available to all Philadelphia area children, especially those at risk in the community.