Looking back on Boston Children’s Museum during the Spanish Flu

In August of 1918, the first cases of the Spanish flu hit Boston. The Globe reported last week in an interview with Jared Rhoades that museums and schools closed that same month. “They closed the MFA, the Boston Public Library, schools, bars, barber shops, theaters,” Rhoads, the debate program director at the Coolidge Foundation, said. “You name it, it was closed down.”

Boston Children’s Museum, however, remained open.

A Snapshot of Boston Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic

There’s no doubt that these are trying times. For many of us, including me, our patience and faith are being tested and our resilience is wearing thin. I’m fortunate to have a job and be able to work from home. As the Director of Community Engagement for Boston Children’s Museum, I’ve been trying to maintain contact with my community – the nonprofits that work with families daily, the school system, and the families who are also struggling during this time. Here is what I have learned from them about how they are coping during this crisis.

The Power of Reading

To encourage a lifelong love of reading, books should be present in a child’s life from infancy. Reading should be considered a form of play and not simply an educational necessity. When reading becomes something one does for enjoyment, children are more likely to opt for a good book in favor of an hour on the iPad— at least every now and then.