While the global pandemic hindered many of us from enjoying some of our daily activities, such as going to the mall, organizations like the Imaginarium of South Texas have continued to provide services. The Imaginarium offers children an extension of what they learn in their classrooms, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM). It is the only children’s museum within 150 miles. The Imaginarium of South Texas is currently located within Mall del Norte and while their operating hours have changed, their goal and agenda have not. Aside from being a children’s museum, the Imaginarium of South Texas works with various schools and organizations, such as United Way and the surrounding counties and districts, to provide academic development through interesting science experiments, fun activities, and hands-on learning experiences.
Kaylee Alvarado, who is a 6-year-old student from Santa Maria Elementary shared, “I really like being in this program because it is a lot of fun. We get to make fun things like slime, snow, ornaments, a monster mask, some mice and a super cool car from just paper, straws and candy. We also read a book and our teacher is really, really nice.”
Kassandra Alvarado, a 9-year-old student from Santa Maria Elementary said, “When the corona virus started, it made my sister and I very sad that we wouldn’t be able to go to the Imaginarium. Then my Mom told us we could be a part of this program. It has been so much fun. I really like it because we get to read a book and keep it for our library at home. I love to see what our next activity will be because it is always something related to the story. We get excited when we see our bag filled with the materials for the activity. I can’t wait for the next one, it’s supposed to be a volcano.”
At the Imaginarium, everyone benefits from participation. Arturo Martinez, Jr a volunteer at the Imaginarium shared, “One of the simplest ways that I gain satisfaction from life is by dedicating my time to a cause that I feel passionate about. Community service, in particular, offers numerous opportunities for me to utilize my talents to aid those in need of extra help. I decided to volunteer because of my passion to help others. I discovered that serving others is an enjoyable experience at the Imaginarium of South Texas among my numerous commitments to community services, this program impacted my character in a positive manner and has allowed me to feel proud of my accomplishment. For the past three years, I have contributed my time at the Imaginarium by helping them with the weekly workshops and special events.”
Mrs. Murrillo, the Executive Director of the Imaginarium of South Texas, emphasized that how before the outbreak of Coronavirus cases, they were in the works of establishing science activities for children with learning disabilities. In addition, the Imaginarium was developing educational and mobility workshops for elderly adults from various retirement and nursing homes from around Laredo. She acknowledged that children with learning disabilities and the elderly tend to be overlooked in the community and are not provided enough resources. While the Imaginarium of South Texas has always had activities and workshops based on providing a more thorough and hands-on learning experience for children, these new programs would designate certain days of the week or month to only children with disabilities or elderly adults. By doing so, Mrs. Murrillo acknowledged that not only would the Imaginarium of South Texas have a larger variety of programs they provide but would also be positively impacting the community. United Way supports agencies like the Imaginarium of South Texas so they can provide outreach programs for children who cannot otherwise afford participating in the Imaginarium’s STEAM-focused curriculum.
The Imaginarium of South Texas is a proud member of the United Way of Laredo family of agencies. Your support of United Way, helps to ensure that agencies like the Imaginarium are able to provide youth services to the children of our community. For more information on how you can support the United Way of Laredo or any of their network of agencies contact the United Way at email@example.com or visit their website at www.unitedwaylaredo.org If you are in need of community resources and are not sure where to turn dial 2-1-1 for information on programs and services in available in our community.