New faces at the Western Maine Play Museum. At left is Carson Hope and on the right is Jamie St. Pierre. Submitted photo

WILTON — So much is happening at Western Maine Play Museum. We are delighted to announce that since Feb. 1, our hours of operation have expanded so that we are now open six days a week:

Monday 10-1, Tuesday 10-1, closed Wednesday, Thursday 1-5, Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-5, Sunday 12-4. So many more hours for you and your family to come and enjoy the museum!

We have also hired two new Visitor Experience Associates, Carson Hope and Jamie St. Pierre. Here, in their own words, they tell us a little about themselves.

Carson says: “I am currently a senior studying Early Childhood Special Education at the University of Maine at Farmington. Upon graduation, I will be certified to provide special education services to children birth through age five, and I will also be certified to teach kindergarten through 3rd grade. I have many experiences with children including teaching experiences in infant toddler programs, preschools and elementary schools; coaching gymnastics to young children; working at summer camps; and volunteering with various organizations. I love dance and would love to share this love with children, as I think this can add a unique aspect to a child’s physical and emotional development. I am a huge advocate for inclusivity and love creating opportunities that all children can participate in.”

And from Jamie: “I am currently a junior studying Rehabilitation Services at the University of Maine at Farmington. I have been working with children for about 8 years. Some of my experience includes coaching gymnastics with children ages 3-18, working in multiple childcare centers with children 0-5, teaching young children dance at Thomas Performing Arts Center, and working as a Behavioral Health Professional with children ages 5-18. I am very excited to be joining the Western Maine Play Museum team and I look forward to working with all of the families and children.”

We are happy to welcome them both! Look for their smiley faces on the weekends, and maybe some times in between!

A reminder that on Monday, Feb. 17, Mr. Drew and his Animals Too will present a special program at WMPM, featuring LIVE wild animals. There will be some touch time possible with a few of the animals at the end of his presentation. Cost will be $4 for members, $7 for non-members.

Thanks to a generous grant from Franklin Savings Bank, Western Maine Play Museum will be sponsoring Free Community Nights, starting in March. This means anyone in our community will have free admission to enjoy an evening at WMPM, regardless of how many family members come with you. Stay tuned for more information about these special events.

Upcoming events in Feb. for adults and older children! Where in the World is Valentino Cupid? A valentine-themed breakout box for grownups will be held on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. $10 per person, and BYOB. Contact Joni, our director to reserve your spot. ([email protected]; 645-3555 during business hours)

A special “adventure” night for Tweens and Teens is planned for February 21, from 5:30-8 pm, for kids in grade 6 and up. $10 per child, with a maximum of 20 kids. The evening will feature a movie and a Breakout Box event. Contact Joni for reservations ([email protected], 645-3555 during business hours.)

Make sure you get an information packet soon to prepare for our upcoming Contraption Convention on March 7, sponsored by Otis Federal Credit Union. This challenge invites contestants to devise the most ingenious method of getting a ball into a cup – in Rube Goldberg style. More information is on the WMPM facebook page and available at the museum. Cash prizes will be awarded for the winners. Contact museum director Joni James ([email protected], 645-3555) or event organizer Angela McLeod for more details: [email protected]

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