The Springfield Cardinals are saluting a local organization they say has led the way in showing local organizations how they can change to meet the needs of their community in a time of crisis.
The Discovery Center is being honored as the Cardinals’ latest “Non-Profit Hero.”
“We here in the Ozarks are always helping and caring for each other,” one Non-Profit Heroes nominator wrote. “Springfield might be one of the larger cities in Missouri, but it sure feels like a small town on most days. During this crazy time our world is in, there are stories all over, but I don’t want people to miss out on a great story right here in Springfield. In the middle of all this chaos they are providing one of the most organized and safest opportunities for these students.”
The Discovery Center gained national attention for their efforts turning the area’s premiere STEM museum for children into a center to care for the children of the area’s front-line health care workers.
“Mister Rogers taught us to look for the helpers,” Discovery Center Executive Director Rob Blevins said in a statement. “But we knew from the beginning that we should be doing more than just looking. We knew we needed to help the helpers. And we knew we had the best place for these kids to be. We focused on not only childcare but also making sure that kids felt normal, that they weren’t experiencing a loss in learning by providing schooling based lesson plans, and that they were so well taken care of that their parents could focus on keeping our community safe.”
The Discovery Center then took the next step to help parents during the uncertain time of COVID-19 by starting the Discovery School at the Center, a private K-5 and Learning Support Care Program to assist Springfield Public Schools.
The school will run for the entirety of the 2020-2021 school year and will combine normal class studies with programs like robotics, computer coding, 3D printing, and lessons from partnerships with organizations like NASA and the Smithsonian.