Name: Amber D. Kaylor
Occupation: Executive Director of the Children's Museum of Illinois
City of residency: Decatur
What do you love about your job?
The kids. I am able to be a part of something that enriches the lives of children. We are helping to educate them and we get to do it in an incredible environment. Seeing the joy on the faces of children when they walk through our doors and as they interact with exhibits makes every day a great day.
For those who haven't visited the museum recently, what's new?
If you haven't been lately then we have several new exhibits! We have added five new exhibits in the last year, including Soy City Toddler Port, Illumination Station, Healthy Mouth, Clean Water and I Spy. We work hard to keep things fresh and exciting. We want families to visit us often and to have fun, new experiences with each visit.
We have also added accommodations for our families who may have children with sensory processing issues or autism. Light filtering glasses, noise cancelling headphones and schedules are always available at the front desk. Just ask a staff member if your family needs any of these items. We also have a social story on our website that can be viewed prior to your visit.
And of course, the new "Heroes Hall" addition is under construction and due to open in the summer of 2018. I could not be more excited about this amazing extension of CMofIL!
What's your favorite exhibit at the museum?
Illumination Station is my favorite. It is basically a 4-by-8 Lite Brite, which takes me back to my childhood. It is definitely a favorite among the adults that visit the museum.
If money were no obstacle, what is something that you would like to see at the museum?
Ha! This could take a while to answer. Short answer is that I would pay my staff more. They work so hard and truly care about the children we serve. I am impressed by them daily. The other thing I would like to see is a new climber structure. Ours is approaching the 20-year-old mark and is showing its age. It would be great to update the centerpiece of the museum.
When you're not at work, what are some of your favorite activities?
I have an amazing 2-year-old son and the best husband on the planet. Anything I do with them is my favorite activity. I also love to exercise. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's a wonderful stress reliever. I belong to the Decatur Athletic Club and enjoy taking classes there.
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