Wonderscope Children's Museum of Kansas City
5700 King Street
Shawnee KS 66203-2708
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 287-8888
Mission Statement

Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City’s mission is to inspire a lifelong love of learning through the power of play, providing dynamic exhibits and programs that integrate the arts, sciences, mathematics, technology and literature for children eight and under, their parents and teachers from across the Kansas City area. 

 LEARN*PLAY*GROW communicates our belief that children learn best through play and that through fun, imaginative hands-on learning, they can grow to their fullest potential. Interactive learning experiences with family and friends engage children’s natural motivation to learn and discover their world. Wonderscope’s informal learning environment is filled with engaging play experiences in literacy, the arts and the sciences. This rich environment naturally inspires curiosity, and ultimately, a love of learning in young children.

Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Roxane Hill
Board Chair Ms. Kate Regnier-Bender
Board Chair Company Affiliation City of Kansas City Missouri
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1988
Former Names
Wonderscope Children's Museum
Children's Museum of Kansas City
Beyond the Book
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement

Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City’s mission is to inspire a lifelong love of learning through the power of play, providing dynamic exhibits and programs that integrate the arts, sciences, mathematics, technology and literature for children eight and under, their parents and teachers from across the Kansas City area. 

 LEARN*PLAY*GROW communicates our belief that children learn best through play and that through fun, imaginative hands-on learning, they can grow to their fullest potential. Interactive learning experiences with family and friends engage children’s natural motivation to learn and discover their world. Wonderscope’s informal learning environment is filled with engaging play experiences in literacy, the arts and the sciences. This rich environment naturally inspires curiosity, and ultimately, a love of learning in young children.

Background Statement

According to a recent study by the Association of Children’s Museums and the University of Washington, there is no question that children’s museums are valuable learning institutions that make a difference in the lives of the children, families, and communities they serve. The Wonderscope commitment is to the whole child, providing an environment that facilitates social, emotional, intellectual and physical development. Through interactive exhibits and hands-on play, children have the ability to take ownership of their own learning and develop and explore their own curiosities.

Wonderscope was founded in 1988, offering exhibits and programs in a repurposed elementary school in Shawnee, Kansas.  The new Wonderscope was created through a merger with Beyond the Book and the Children's Museum of Kansas City.

Impact Statement
2016 Accomplishments:
  • Completed renovation of Farm to Market activity center.
  • Completed upgrades and renovations to physical building of the Museum.
  • Updated and enhanced Tinker Space, ArtWorks, Small Wonders centers.
  • Created Wonder Gym to provide gross motor activity space for children.
  • Introduced new programming daily: Circle Time, Music and Movement, Art, Storytime and Craft.
 
2017 Goals:
  • Launch Capital Campaign for new museum to build programmatic/educational, facility, and special event offerings.
  • Develop kindergarten readiness program and launch by fall 2017.
  • Continue to ensure that museum remains dynamic by adding new additions to exhibits to enhance overall experience.
Needs Statement
  1. General operating support for exhibits and programs, staffing and general maintenance.
  2. Capacity-building support to increase staffing, improve systems and operations, and maintain functionality of our current building.
  3. Scholarship fund for schools/groups to visit Wonderscope on field trips and to provide memberships for underserved families.
  4. Support to expand and improve our programming and outreach.
  5. Support for fund development, marketing and branding initiatives.
Service Categories
Children's Museums
Museums
Education N.E.C.
Areas of Service
MO
KS
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
KS - Lawrence

The demographics of Wonderscope’s visitors reflect the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. The largest numbers of visitors are from Shawnee, Overland Park and Olathe which are predominantly Caucasian, with African Americans comprising the next largest ethnic group. Kansas City Missouri is close behind with a population that is 60% Caucasian, 30% African American and 10% Hispanic. Kansas City Kansas follows with the most diverse community in the metropolitan area: 52% Caucasian; 27% African American; 20% Hispanic. Beyond the metropolitan area, children and families are drawn to Wonderscope from the Midwest region, nationally and internationally.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
Wonderscope has a vision of building upon its 28-year history to establish a world class children’s museum in the Kansas City area that supports early childhood education by creating environments, programs, and experiences that expand and deepen the abilities of our youngest learners. The goal is to create a regional destination and point of community pride, offering educational exhibits and programs as well as serving as a community early education resource. As we work toward building a new museum, Wonderscope seeks support to sustain and improve operations at our existing facility. 
 
As we begin our capital campaign, we will continue to operate existing programming as support is increased for a new museum. We look for creative ways to increase earned income through programming and increase and diversify support income through donations and grants for existing programs. Notably, while we are looking for ways to increase income, we are very committed to keeping Wonderscope’s admission and membership prices affordable, so that the Museum is available and accessible to patrons from across the region.
 
Wonderscope is the only nonprofit children’s museum in the Kansas City metropolitan area that is focused on using play to support early education for children aged birth to 8. In this unique role and with its decades of history in the community, Wonderscope has the opportunity to be a resource in the community-wide conversation that is occurring about the benefits of early education, children's learning styles and the importance of parental engagement.
 
Wonderscope has also built partnerships over the last few years that underscore its commitment to the value of accessibility. The organization is committed to making learning through play accessible to all children, without regard for their physical, mental, emotional, or socioeconomic status.  Wonderscope supports activities for children with sensory challenges and has donated memberships for low-income families, representing a foundation of community collaboration and service upon which Wonderscope intends to build.
 
The reality of a world-class children’s museum in Kansas City is closer than ever before.
Programs
Description

Children are able to explore different sensory experiences and participate in dramatic play. They can splash and discover the properties of water in H2Oh!; experience gravity and motion in Raceways then design their own tracks in Build Your Own Raceways; care for pets in Ready Vet Go!; explore the Wonder Why Garden; climb and learn in the Small Wonders Room; and role-play in Farm to Market. Children are inspired to learn about the world around them through fun, imaginative play. Children and their families or friends are invited to learn through play as they explore and discover the world through the various exhibit areas.

Program Budget $820,238.00
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Museum Education
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5), Children Only (5 - 14 years), Adults
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success When children engage in dramatic play, they are actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. Through cooperative play, they learn how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve.
Long-Term Success Children develop critical thinking skills through fun, interactive exhibits tailored to their developmental needs. Children develop their natural curiosity and a love of learning by learning in a play environment. Children learn about the basic fundamentals of mathematics, engineering, technology, science, the arts and humanities through role playing, imagination and exploration.
Program Success Monitored By Visitor volume increases. Museum visitors purchase family memberships and increase their visits/year. Museum visitors and members are satisfied and happy with the Wonderscope experience. Client Satisfaction is constant or increasing. Public recognition for new exhibits and programming through media sources. 

Wonderscope also utilizes the DRDP 2015 – Desired Results Developmental Profile. This developmental continuum, for Early Childhood Learning, focuses on 8 domains and the focus of each domain is on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and behaviors. The different measures provide learning opportunities for children at different milestones of their development. Wonderscope utilizes this guide to ensure that the activities in each of the programs and exhibits are providing the very best learning opportunities for all children.

Examples of Program Success

Attendance at Wonderscope in 2016 exceeded 66,000 children and families. 

  • Walk-in children 8 and under: 17,536
  • Walk-in adults: 14,956
  • Member child: 15,002
  • Member adult: 9,491
  • Field trips: 4,790
  • Special events: 2,109

Description
Wonderscope offers programs such as Wonderpalooza, Stortytime and Craft, Sundays with Lowe's that provide an introduction to the arts, sciences, engineering, math and early literacy experiences. All programs are hands-on and encourage active participation. Children are invited to explore music, creative movement, hands-on art and science experiences and books and stories. Wonderpalooza and other special events such as WonderSpook and WonderEve are designed to be interactive and include the dramatic arts, music, creative dance, puppets and more.
Program Budget $75,000.00
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Performing Arts
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Children Only (5 - 14 years), Adults
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Success is measured by increasing the frequency and attendance during our weekly and monthly programming along with positive customer satisfaction. 
Long-Term Success
Children gain a lifelong appreciation for the arts, sciences and literacy experiences and will actively engage in learning through creative play and exploration. Parents and caregivers will enjoy spending quality time with their children and discover how to foster and enhance these learning experiences. Educators will gather ideas on incorporating science and art experiences within their classrooms and community members will value Wonderscope as a leading-edge family destination with fresh, relevant interactive experiences that foster an excitement for literacy, the arts and the sciences.
Program Success Monitored By Collecting attendance and participation data along with periodic staff and customer assessments that indicate growth and responses to programs. In addition, programs are evaluated through Wonderscope's Strategic Plan and DRDP 2015 – Desired Results Developmental Profile. This developmental continuum, for Early Childhood Learning, focuses on eight domains, and the focus of each domain is on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and behaviors.
Examples of Program Success Membership increased by 74% in 2016, and contributed income increased by 35%.
Description

Wonderscope continues to be a popular field trip destination. Students and teachers experience an environment specifically tailored to their learning and developmental needs. Studies confirm that while children play in children's museums, observable and quantifiable learning takes place. From simple cause and effect, to fine motor skills, to informational and procedural learning, to conceptual cause and effect, our exhibits and programs are designed to engage children in simple and complex forms of play that result in foundational learning. 

Program Budget $100,000.00
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Museum Education
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), Adults,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Teachers will evaluate outreach activities positively as an enhancement to their curriculum. Children, parents and teachers will provide positive feedback about activities.
Long-Term Success The community will have an increased awareness of the importance and educational benefits of informal learning opportunities for children in the arts and sciences. More children will have access to hands-on learning activities and become excited to learn more about the arts and sciences. Families will make meaningful connections through interactive activities and experiences. Children will learn more and have a deeper understanding of school curricula because of outreach enrichment activities offered in the schools. Wonderscope will be recognized as a valuable community resource by families, schools and the broader community.
Program Success Monitored By We monitor the number of outreach activities offered and the associated expenses. Our goal is to maximize the capacity of the organization to provide outreach activities on a paid or charitable basis. Teachers and group leaders complete surveys about their experience and suggestions.
Examples of Program Success Attendance numbers from field trip visitors in 2016 was 4,790.  We continue to expand our offerings and accessibility for schools and preschools across the Kansas City metropolitan area. 
CEO Comments

Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City is committed to our mission in our current facility as we create a world-class children’s museum for Kansas City. We are actively looking to partner with organizations and individuals that are passionate about achieving this vision and making a difference for Kansas City’s children.

Children’s museums are unique places that bring children, families and communities together for quality interaction. Offering lifelong learning opportunities for audiences beginning with newborns through age 8, Wonderscope aspires to be a vital cultural institution in the Kansas City metropolitan area. We celebrate play and creativity, provide activities that nurture family relationships, establish common ground in the community, collaborate with traditional educational and social service organizations and provide a significant component to the community to improve the quality of life.

Grounded in well-established pedagogy, children’s museums are leading a movement that combines specific learning objectives with play in informal learning environments. As a highly-desirable meeting place and a proponent of play, Wonderscope brings a world of possibilities to families who want the best for their children. Wonderscope provides children and the adults who care for them with a wholesome, fun, non-commercial setting full of chances to play and learn, and our new museum will become a major attraction and destination.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Roxane Hill
Term Start Dec 2015
Compensation $50,001 - $75,000
Experience

Roxane Hill joined Wonderscope Children’s Museum in January, 2016 as its Executive Director. Ms. Hill has over 16 years of experience in the nonprofit field as a fund development professional. Prior to joining Wonderscope Ms. Hill served as Vice President of Development for a local agency providing therapeutic services to children under the age of eight years and more doubling their contribution budget. This experience has her well suited to lead Wonderscope as it strives to enhance its programming for children under the age of 8 years and looks to building a stronger organization. Ms. Hill holds a bachelor's degree from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Mid-Continent Chapter.

Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
NameTerm
Mr. Fred Andrews Jan 2013 - Oct 2013
Ms. Lauranne Hess June 2008 - Sept 2012
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 6
Paid Part-Time Staff 6
Volunteers 10
Paid Contractors 1
Retention Rate 80%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 8
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 4
Male 8
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Semi-Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Collaborations
  • Partnership with Theatre for Young America, an essential part of STEAM objectives.
  • Partnership with Mid Continent Public Library in planning for new museum.
  • Partnership with HCA Midwest/UrgentCare Now, creating monthly news articles pertaining to young children and providing exhibit elements for the Baby Nursery. During the summer, nurses and Child Life staff attend and extend the learning through play for children.
  • Partnership with Johnson County Master Gardeners to create and maintain an outdoor learning space containing herbs, flowers, vegetables, and butterfly garden. Allows staff to utilize pop up activities as explorers and work in the garden with the gardeners.
  • Partnership with Fairway Animal Hospital each summer hosting a veterinarian at Wonderscope's Ready Vet Go! center enhancing the learning through play opportunity.
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Listed in "Top 50 Children’s Museums" Child Magazine2003
Best Summer Day CampKC Family Magazine2007
Parents' Pick for Best Museum in Kansas CityParents Connect2009
Parents' Pick for Best Museum in Kansas CityParents Connect2010
Favorite Museum in Kansas CityKC Parent Magazine2013
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments Our primary goals are to create a safe, welcoming environment for children and families, ensure a quality visitor experience and meet the unique needs of members, new visitors, field trip groups and other groups while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Daily, this means balancing operational needs with available financial and human resources, while investing in strategies necessary for long-term growth and sustainability. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Kate Regnier-Bender
Company Affiliation City of Kansas City Missouri
Term Feb 2017 to Feb 2020
Email kate.bender@gmail.com
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Ms. Jennifer Berhorst Bryan Cave
Mr. Sam Clevenger Mariner Holdings
Ms. Jennifer Damron Jackson County
Mr. Chelan David Univision
Mr. Nilson Goes Infinite Energy Construction
Mr. Matthew Heimsoth Global Prairie
Ms. Jill Jolicoeur Greater Kansas City LISC
Ms. Katie Kincaid Longhauser Community Volunteer
Ms. Melinda Mehaffy City of Gladstone
Mr. Eric Newell Lowe's
Ms. Kate Regnier-Bender City of Kansas City, Missouri
Mr. Kenneth Schaefer Burns & McDonnell
Mr. Aaron Siders Commerce Bank
Ms. Sally Stanton Community Volunteer
Mr. Adam Zieren BKD
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Marketing
Board Development / Board Orientation
Finance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Education
Executive
Capital Campaign
CEO Comments
My primary goal is to create a safe, welcoming environment for children and families, ensure a quality visitor experience and meet the unique needs of members, new visitors, field trip groups and other groups while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Daily, this means balancing operational needs with available financial and human resources, while investing in strategies necessary for long-term growth and sustainability. As a full-time Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer my goal is to improve and/or develop more resources in strategy development, governance, fundraising and marketing, improving internal operations and developing strategic partnerships. Specifically: 
  1. Realigning leadership to develop a Strategic Plan.
  2. Implementing a formal volunteer program.
  3. Implementing a strategy to communicate the value Wonderscope brings to the community.
  4. Diversifying funding streams.
  5. Improving the visitor experience, exhibits and programming.
  6. Evaluating options for major capital improvements.
  7. Developing our vision to develop a truly exceptional museum for Kansas City.
The Board and staff are eager to identify partners in the community who share our passion for creating a great educational resource for our children.
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $820,238
Projected Expenses $820,238
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990. 
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals. 
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$425,996$417,210$419,862
Administration Expense$58,633$55,335$57,675
Fundraising Expense$32,301$30,551$30,066
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.060.990.96
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%83%83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue11%27%13%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$143,204$139,783$132,420
Current Assets$67,854$63,278$44,661
Long-Term Liabilities$0$15,000$0
Current Liabilities$9,396$23,927$28,501
Total Net Assets$133,808$100,856$103,919
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities7.222.641.57
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%11%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountHall Family Foundation $50,000 -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountV&H Regnier Foundation $25,000 -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCity of Shawnee $10,000 -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose
The results of a recent feasibility study concluded that a $12M campaign could be supported by the Kansas City community. The new Wonderscope will include exhibits and programming in the best environment possible for early learners and adult engagement. The exhibits will incorporate components that support learning initiatives in these areas: early education; STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math); music, nature; and life skills. The cornerstone of the new experience will be a dynamic set of activity centers grounded in educational values and Wonderscope’s distinction from other informal learning settings in the area.
 
Dates Jan 2017 to June 2019
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments

Wonderscope manages operations on a high percentage of earned income, including walk-in, membership, field trip and birthday party revenues. At the same time, Wonderscope is committed to keeping admission pricing low to ensure access to all families. Funding is diversified and enhanced through public, private, and corporate support to invest in infrastructure needs and build reserves for the future. The board and staff actively research potential to increase the amount of unrestricted contributions in an effort to improve Wonderscope's cash position; increase earned revenue opportunities; and fund capacity-building needs. Membership income increased by 74% in 2016 and contributed income by 35%.

Organization Name Wonderscope Children's Museum of Kansas City
Address 5700 King Street
Shawnee, KS 662032708
Primary Phone (913) 287-8888
Contact Email info@wonderscope.org
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Roxane Hill
Board Chair Ms. Kate Regnier-Bender
Board Chair Company Affiliation City of Kansas City Missouri
Year of Incorporation 1988
Former Names
Wonderscope Children's Museum
Children's Museum of Kansas City
Beyond the Book