Play station: Myrna Hunter wants kids to use their imaginations - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Play station: Myrna Hunter wants kids to use their imaginations

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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 10:30 am

Plenty of people have no idea Brownsville has a Children’s Museum, though plenty of people do, and a lot of them are children.

That’s according to Myrna Hunter, the museum’s deputy director. She’s been with the organization for about eight years, since the beginning, starting out as a board member. Hunter describes the mission of the museum located in Dean Porter Park as providing kids with opportunities to learn through imaginative play.

“We have a lot of different exhibits that kind of teach them how to play roles,” she said.

Those include a miniature doctor’s office with an examination chair, x-ray viewer and miniature crutches, dentist’s office, H-E-B Buddy Market with two checkout aisles and a wide assortment of plastic fruits, vegetables, baked goods and other items, TV weather studio complete with green screen so kids can see themselves delivering a live forecast, a restaurant where kids can pretend to be cooks, servers, cashiers and customers, the Texas Farm House, a truck, a tractor, a gigantic Lite-Brite and on and on — all in all, a place where a kid could have a blast.

“Oh they love it,” Hunter said.

Enjoying the company of children is certainly an asset at the Children’s Museum, though running it is far from child’s play, she said.

“A lot of people, when they come and they apply for a job, the first thing they tell us is, oh, I love working with kids, which is great,” Hunter said. “But this is more than just working with kids. It’s a business. To be able to provide the services that we do, we have to be able to make our admission numbers. We have to be able to fund-raise, so there’s a lot involved.”

It also happens to be her dream job, she said. And filling the place up doesn’t seem to be a problem — just the opposite. During the summer, the museum will get 200 to 300 people a day on weekends and things can get pretty crowded, Hunter said.

“We get field trips and customers all the way from Rio Grande City, kids that travel in school buses an hour, hour and a half, just to come to the museum for a field trip,” she said.

The museum gets so many visitors, in fact, that expansion plans are underway, Hunter said.

“We’re meeting with the city in a couple of weeks, with our new mayor and everyone, to let them know what our plans are and just to let them know that we’re a big part of Brownsville. We’re kind of like the hidden gem, but we do serve a lot of people.”

cmofbrownsville.org

sclark@brownsvilleherald.com

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