The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is dedicated to providing hands-on educational experiences that help children build fundamental cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills during their formative years, and to educating adults about the profound influence of early learning on a child’s academic and lifelong success. Museum exhibits and programs reflect developmental milestones recognized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, as well as state and national academic standards, and promote school readiness by focusing on early literacy; beginning science, technology, engineering, arts, and math concepts; the development of planning and problem-solving skills; cooperation, self-esteem and self-discipline; and physical coordination. The Museum enables adults to share educational experiences with children and provides information about child development, learning styles and effective parenting. The Museum is committed to ensuring access by all children and families in the community.
The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that opened its doors on April 4, 1995, thanks to a grassroots effort begun by three Milwaukee women determined to create a place where families in southeastern Wisconsin could learn and play together. Therese Binder, Susie Gruenberg and Julie Sattler-Rosene rallied community support to secure a location for the Museum and to raise the necessary funds. After six years of persistence and hard work, their hope for a children’s museum finally came to fruition. The Museum has become a Milwaukee landmark and treasured educational organization for locals and visitors alike.
The Museum is named in honor of Betty Brinn, a successful Milwaukee businesswoman who spent most of her childhood in foster homes and orphanages throughout Wisconsin. As an adult, Betty dedicated her life to helping underprivileged women and children in the Milwaukee area secure health care. Her kindness affected many individuals, and her generosity and love of children continues to impact the city of Milwaukee. Betty passed away in 1992, but her legacy lives on through the thousands of children who learn and play in the Museum each year. If you would like to learn more about the life of Betty Brinn, read “On Her Own: The Story of Betty Brinn” by author Priscilla Pardini and illustrator Joanne Scholler Bowring, which is available at the Museum’s Gift Shop and many libraries throughout Wisconsin.