January 3, 2011; Source: The News Tribune | In Pasco, Wash., the board of the Three Rivers Children’s Museum may make the decision to close as early as mid January. Serving children from 1 to 12 years old, the museum is almost twenty years old and now very cost efficient, operating on a budget of $45,000 a year. But falling corporate support mixed with an unexpected forced move last year cost the organization three months of revenue and $10,000.
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A call for donations has not yet yielded what it would take to save the institution, the only resource of its kind for pre-school and younger grade school children in the area. The next nearest children’s museum is 44 miles away in Walla Walla, Wash. The Museum served 10,000 visitors a year. This story brings to mind Paul Light’s prediction about “service deserts.”—Ruth McCambridge