Sharline Garrison Freeman, Director at the North East Texas Children’s Museum in Commerce for the past decade has strong Sulphur Springs ties and visited KSST to inform Good Morning Show listeners about the Museum’s move in the near future. “In just 13 days, we will close the present location’s seventeen-year home, just across from Texas A and M University Commerce. But it’s still a busy time because we’ve got birthday parties booked, field trips are arriving by school bus and the 3rd-grade STEM program we offer in-house is ongoing. Museum staff is also taking the MegaLung out to 4th-grade classrooms in school districts during the next two weeks. The MegaLung is a large teaching display which shows all the diseases of the lung, exposing the dangers of smoking and of the new vapor e-cigarettes. We provide this interactive instruction on elementary student level in hopes it will help them live healthier lives. After September 23, when we close the doors at the present location, our staff will have just two weeks to move our offices before opening the new facility, where we already have bookings there. And the public will be invited in at our Grand Opening on October 19, 2019! “
In a matter of days, the new North East Texas Children’s Museum will move to 100 Maple Street, which is a 11-acre property on Highway 11 East of Commerce, and in fact, two miles closer to Sulphur Springs than previously. The larger 26,000 square foot museum has been constructed specifically for the hands-on displays and creative play areas designed for children. Among the many brand new play stations it will house are a Hospital with ER, a Veterinary clinic, a Dental office, a gas station with kid-size cars, a restaurant, a Farm area and a house. Some of the popular existing stations will have been refurbished and put back into use. According to Sharline, “businesses and organizations in Commerce and in a radius around the area have sponsored and helped construct these play areas and we proudly display the names of our donors. We plan a special open house for our donors. The Museum’s play area is actually like a little town now, and that was my vision when I became Director. Earlier in my working career, I launched a program called “Enterprise City” for the Richardson ISD, and that program is still in use. It has been my dream that the children of Northeast Texas have a play and learning facility comparable to what you might find in a big city. And now we do, with room for expansion!”. Currently a fundraising “Brick Walk” campaign is going on, with an individual, family or business name engraved and placed on the walk for a donation. For more information on the history, mission and services of the North East Texas Children’s Museum, go to netxcm.com
Though not raised in Sulphur Springs, Sharline’s parents were a part of the local community whom some may remember. Her mother, Mrs. Lorene Garrison, was an English teacher at Sulphur Springs High School and her father, Thel Garrison, was President of People’s National Bank in Sulphur Springs.