The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 21st

Children's museum encourages Latino tourism

Kidzu Children's Museum is making efforts to reach out to the Latino community.

As part of a new program funded by community organizations the museum has hired a bilingual outreach coordinator to make Kidzu more accessible to Latinos and low-income families said Executive Director Cathy Maris.

The museum has hired Carol Osorio-Flores Hodgman for the new position. Hodgman is a native of Tegucigalpa Honduras.

She said that Kidzu is a perfect match for her.

Hodgman will serve as a liaison between Kidzu and partner organizations. She will host free events on Sundays for low-income families. She will also inform the Orange County community of the new services.

The current exhibit at Kidzu" ""Kidzoom: The Power of Creativity"" is already presented in English and Spanish.

The exhibit was created by professional and local designers, Maris said. The objective of the exhibit is to celebrate the community.

Having free admission on Sundays is absolutely wonderful"" Terri Colburn said.

Colburn traveled from Wake Forest on Sunday to bring her 4-year-old daughter to Kidzu.

She said she chose to come to the museum on the free day as an alternative to the N.C. State Fair, because of the poor economy.

Hodgman will also help to bring extra programs to the museum as a part of the free Sundays.

Maris said this will be a good addition to the learning objectives of the museum.

This is a good opportunity to combine play and learning" which is the essence of what we do at Kidzu" Maris said.

This month, Kidzu offered free dental screenings and advice on raising healthy children, an event sponsored by the Orange County Partnership for Young Children.

Hodgman has been living in the United States for six years, during which she has worked with various children's organizations.

Free admission on Sundays is part of the grant proposal of the Early Learning Partners, funded by Durham Regional Hospital.

We're really thrilled to have funding from the state"" Maris said.

In November, the museum is going to host a program, again supported by Orange County Partnership for Young Children, that will offer information about looking for and affording childcare.

What Kidzu learns from this new program will help it grow its services, Maris said.

To be the best children's museum possible"" we need to make sure that we effectively are reaching all members of the community.""

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