The Power of Children: Making a Difference®
The Power of Children: Making a Difference exhibit shows the impact children have had—and will continue to have—in shaping history. The exhibit creates an environment where people can examine and discuss difficult issues related to prejudice and discrimination and seek solutions to problems. The Power of Children is an excellent opportunity for children, families, and teachers to learn to live respectfully together and to benefit from the wisdom and experiences of others.
The Children’s Museum chose three children from recent modern history who struggled against prejudice and fear while showing pride and making a positive difference in the world. Their stories have been re-created in historically accurate interactive environments that reflect special spaces where each child spent time. The use of live theater and real artifacts makes it possible to become fully immersed in the lives of these children.
The three children highlighted in The Power of Children are:
- Anne Frank provides a tremendous message of hope amidst the terrors of the 1940s Holocaust. Nearly every schoolchild knows Anne’s story. Her diary is required reading in many schools. Through her writing, we have a first-person account of a Jewish girl’s experience with the Holocaust: the fear, the hiding, and the hope of a better future.
- Ruby Bridges was among the first black students to integrate into the white school system in New Orleans. She faced extreme prejudice, but found a friend in her teacher, Mrs. Barbara Henry. With support of family, friends, and her teacher, Ruby was able to overcome the many challenges she faced during the school year.
- Ryan White fought against fear and misinformation about AIDS. The Indiana teenager who contracted AIDS via his hemophilia medication was expelled from his school due to his condition. His fight to be allowed to return to school and live a normal life made him famous around the world. The museum has more than 500 artifacts from Ryan’s life. They are used to tell the story of his struggle with AIDS, his fight to attend school, and the ensuing media furor.
MALALA YOUSAFZAI WILL BE ADDED IN 2021
When a member of the Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai in the head on her way home from school, they had no idea what would happen. The 15-year-old Pakistani girl made a miraculous recovery, continued to fight for girls education and became the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Her battle for education and refusal to be stopped will now be featured alongside the stories of Anne Frank (1940s—child of the Holocaust), Ruby Bridges (1960s—one of the first to integrate schools in the American South) and Ryan White (1980s—AIDS activist)