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Children’s Museum Fall 2009 Saturday Series Begins Sept. 26


Children’s educational programs on making Chinese dumplings and family Web pages, pedestrian safety, paleontology and nature observation will be highlighted during the Fall 2009 Children’s Museum season starting on Saturday, Sept. 26.

The Children’s Museum offers interactive, hands-on educational experiences in an environment where Cortland community parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, college students, youth and young children can be inspired to play and learn together.

Presented by faculty and students in SUNY Cortland’s Childhood/Early Childhood Education Department, the programs run on selected Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., unless otherwise noted, and are open to community families and their children. All programs will take place at the Children’s Museum, located on the ground floor of O’Heron Newman Hall at 8 Calvert St. in Cortland. Admission is free but donations are gladly accepted.

Emilie Kudela, SUNY Cortland associate professor of childhood/early childhood education, will lead participants as they learn pedestrian safety in the program “Tiny Town” on Sept. 26. Currently on loan to the Children’s Museum from the Cortland County Health Department's Injury Prevention and Traffic Safety Program, “Tiny Town” is a scaled down version of a town in which children practice safe walking, crossing the street, intersections and walking through parking lots. Early childhood classes within walking distance of the Children’s Museum also will have the opportunity to explore “Tiny Town” and the Children’s Museum during the following week. Arrangements for class visits must be made with Kudela at (607) 753-5525.

Susan Stratton, SUNY Cortland assistant professor of childhood/early childhood education, will lead three sessions of the “Nature Nook Series” during the fall, on Oct. 3, Nov. 14 and Nov. 21. Children will have the opportunity to take part in these nature study activities periodically during both the fall and spring semesters at the Children’s Museum, with the assistance of graduate and undergraduate childhood and early childhood teacher candidates. Supported by a grant through Cortland’s Auxiliary Services Corporation, the series will provide inquiry-based, hands-on activities for young children on nature-oriented topics. The children will view closely magnified seasonal topics, including insects, leaves, seed-producing plants, pumpkins, gourds and other fall produce.

Two SUNY Cortland faculty members will host a free Mandarin Chinese language/culture class for children ages 5 and older from 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. on Oct. 10. The program by Haiying Wang, a lecturer in SUNY Cortland’s International Communications and Culture Department, and Lin Lin, an assistant professor in the Childhood/Early Childhood Education Department, is intended as a demonstration class. Parents are encouraged to attend, as the professors are interested in seeing how many children and parents would like to participate in a regular Chinese language program in the Cortland area next year. For more information, contact Wang at or Lin at

Junior paleontologists will find out what is hidden inside rocks during the “Great Dino Dig” on Oct. 24. Orvil White, SUNY Cortland assistant professor of childhood/early childhood education, invites the children to become junior paleontologists and chip away at the rocks to reveal their interiors. Other hidden treasurers include shells, bones and maybe a real fossil shark tooth. Adult family members are welcome to join the children in the dig.

The 18th annual Education Club Halloween Party will be celebrated on Oct. 31. The College’s Professional Development School Coordinator Karen Hempson will oversee the festivities. The event is open to community children ages 1 to 10. Activities will include face painting, storytelling, invisible writing, games and craft making. Donuts and other treats will be served and prizes awarded for games.

Children will be able to make Chinese dumplings and family Web sites on computers on Nov. 7 during the “Chinese Dumplings and Technology” program. Shufang Shi, SUNY Cortland assistant professor of childhood/early childhood education, will share her skills in making Chinese dumplings and creating family Web sites using Web 2.0. According to her, dumpling making and tasting is a time to enjoy conversation and company with family members and friends. The use of family Web sites is another way to connect with others.

On Nov. 14, a special program in the “Nature Nook Series” called “Insect Circus” will look at the habitats and behaviors of insects and bugs with entomology students from Cornell University’s Outreach Program. Stratton and the entomology students will have living and preserved samples available for the children to see. The participants will learn how insects survive the winter through special adaptations.

To reach the museum entrance, follow O’Heron Newman Hall’s driveway. Parking is not permitted in the driveway but is available in the parking lot of the Dowd Fine Arts Center on the corner of Prospect Terrace and Graham Ave.

For more information, contact Kudela at (607) 753-5525 or Stratton at (607) 753-2467, by email at or visit the Web site.