Autism Society Ventura County Invests in KidSTREAM
11/03/2018

The Children's Museum to be only museum on West Coast with dedicated space for children on the spectrum

Online PR News – 03-November-2018 – Camarillo, Calif. – As kidSTREAM, an emerging children's museum, continues to grow community support, it announced today a major donation made by the Autism Society Ventura County. With this gift, kidSTREAM will name its sensory room the "Autism Society Ventura County Sensory Room" when the museum opens at the former Camarillo Library site. Overall, the museum's exhibits will provide activities and learning experiences for children and families that focus on science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and math (STREAM).

"The Autism Society Ventura County loves the commitment we've seen from the kidSTREAM founders to make the museum inclusive for all kids of all abilities," said Carly Fulgham, board chair of ASVC. "We are thrilled to sponsor this space at kidSTREAM, not only as a place for people with autism, but for all visitors to explore their senses and understand the sensory differences of their friends and neighbors on the autism spectrum."

The Sensory Room will be approximately 400 square feet and will be equipped to develop sensory integration, social skills, visual-motor planning and verbal expression for children on the spectrum and their families.

"We are grateful for the support we have received from the Autism Society Ventura County," said Kristie Akl, kidSTREAM founder and board president. "KidSTREAM will stand alone on the West Coast as a children's museum offering a unique space for those on the spectrum. Many children's museums offer windows of time and sensory opportunities, which kidSTREAM will implement once open, but the spatial separation - a space that is inclusive for all - will be a unique feature for kidSTREAM, which is holding fast to its core values of inclusion and accessibility."

KidSTREAM is currently leasing a part of the former Camarillo Library site, using the community room and front patio for community focus groups with hands-on, minds-on, STREAM-based exhibits. The City of Camarillo has approved a term sheet with kidSTREAM for the purchase and sale agreement of the former library building to be used as an educational attraction.

Based on a recent study conducted by Dr. Jamshid Damooei, Chair, Economics, Finance and Accounting at California Lutheran University, with kidSTREAM open, the community can expect "positive impacts on learning by special education and English Learner students, increased student math and science readiness derived from the focus on a STREAM education, increased equity, and strengthening of the community's resources for educating and caring for our children."

KidSTREAM leaders are working with a team of advisory board members, museum designers and consultants to develop a destination-worthy facility proposed for the former site of the Camarillo Library, with an anticipated 12,000 square feet of indoor, interactive hands-on learning exhibits and 19,000 square feet of outdoor exhibits and playscapes. More information is online at www.kidstream.org.

Founded in 2016 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, kidSTREAM's mission is to create an engaging environment for children and families to explore, play and discover; inspiring them to become critical thinkers, innovators and life-long learners. For more information, visit http://www.kidstream.org/.