One of Springfield's downtown institutions of over 20 years is closing its doors to the public to begin offering emergency educational and childcare assistance for healthcare workers at places like CoxHealth and Mercy Springfield with displaced school aged children. With at least 12 area school districts now remaining closed until April 6th, the Discovery Center—the Ozarks’ nonprofit, community funded science center—in Downtown Springfield has announced that it will be closing to the public effective immediately to prepare to offer emergency education and childcare to hundreds of kids each day.
“Mister Rogers taught us to look for the helpers,” said Executive Director, Rob Blevins, “but we must be doing much more than just looking right now. We need to be helping the helpers. The incredible and capable healthcare community can only be in position and ready to save your life or the life of somebody you love if they know that their child or children are being cared for so that they can go into work.”
The Discovery Center has shown proactive leadership for years and has become not only a treasured institution but also a vital, top-tier community asset. Last week, the Discovery Center began offering their Science of Germs and Hand Washing program to visitors and area children at no cost and launched a brand new exhibit on the science of fevers using a display screen and a thermal camera.
The Discovery Center administration is seeking private donors and is working with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, and the Missouri Foundation for Health to secure the funding necessary to run this program. Donations can be mailed to the Center at 438 E. St. Louis St. or made online at https://discovery-center-of-springfield.snwbll.com/your-campaign. There is also a live fundraiser on the Center’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DiscoveryCenterSpringfield. Many community members choose to support the Center by purchasing a year-long membership, which can be purchases online at www.discoverycenter.org/member. Right now, the Center is selling a limited number of memberships at 50% and will continue offering 15% all memberships through March. The Center will also extend all memberships purchased or renewed during their public shutdown so members do not lose out on their membership time while the Center is closed to the public.