Daily Point of Light # 2157 May 10, 2002

Jean Hand has devoted nearly all of her time and energies to the youth of her area for the past eight years. She has been active in the Rivergold Elementary School PTA, and heads the Sunday School Program at the Positive Living Center of Central California. Her most outstanding contribution, though, has been as the founder and Director of the Children’s Museum of the Sierra.

When she moved to the area, she noted that there were few things for young children to do, and even fewer where families could share meaningful activities with their children. In response to this need she placed an article in the newspaper asking for volunteers to start a children’s museum. From that point, whenever she traveled she visited children’s museums getting ideas. She held the first organizational meetings in her home and has worked tirelessly for years to develop the Museum.

The Children’s Museum of the Sierra is now part of a nonprofit corporation. It is in a 4,000 square foot building with new exhibits being added regularly. The Museum serves children, families and schools in the largely rural area and has thousands of visitors from around the U.S. and the world who come to visit Yosemite National Park.

“This award is truly an honor. Creating the Children’s Museum has truly been a community effort though. We feel that providing a special place for children to go with their families and educators has been a priviledge and dream come true,” stated Hand.

Starting from scratch, Jean Hand created a nonprofit children’s museum, which has become the focal point of interactive, educational activities for families in rural central California and visitors from around the world.