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Monday, December 19, 2011

New Vision Kids Take a Sleep-over Back in Time

It's a step back in time for the New Vision kids in Kingsport.

Make that several steps.

A day of Christmas fun for the children of the community continued, with a visit and a sleep-over at the Mystery of Natural History Museum in downtown Kingsport. For those of the older generation who remember, the Museum is housed in what used to be the old Woolworth's store on Broad Street.

Click here to see a slideshow of the New Vision Kids' visit and sleep-over at the Mystery of Natural History Museum in downtown Kingsport.

Mary McNabb owns and operates the museum, and has turned the old building into a catacomb of exhibits, live animals, and skeletal replicas of some of our planet's first inhabitants.

The kids were delighted by the full Natural History Museum that featured
STAN- Tennessee's only T-Rex display.

"Some of the kids did not know about dinosaurs being among the first creatures on earth," says Johnnie Mae Swagerty, New Vision Kids director. "It was very educational, even to the rock samples on display. They were fascinated to find out that much of the stone is just like the countertops in their homes, little things like that. That's where it comes from."

There were plenty of rock and mineral displays, live animals, a NASA space exhibit with meteorites, and more for the kids to enjoy and ask questions about.

The fun continued into the night for the kids.

"The sleep-over began with hot dogs, chips, and different kinds of dessert," says Swagerty. "Later on, we had games, and activities that kept them busy, but kids will be kids. They were excited to be able to run around and get all that energy out. Bethel (AME Zion Church) invited us to Christmas dinner on Sunday, and they're going to be ready for that."

The director of the Mystery of Natural History Museum is under the direction of Mary McNabb, with curator/preparator Danielle Thornburg. The museum technologist is Robert Segelhorst, and Al McClain is the facilities manager.

From Ms. McNabb comes this note: "Our museum is owned and operated by Kingsport Museum Association, a non-profit entity formed by citizens dedicated to bringing life and redevelopment to downtown Kingsport."

"Our objective is to keep our local natural history museum in Kingsport
and establish additional museums as planning and funding permit.
Our desire is to make downtown Kingsport a destination for
museum-goers nationwide."

"We are a community organization and need the help of all our public spirited citizens to survive, and we would love to have your help as an association member, contributor, display sponsor, or volunteer."

Please call or come by to discuss your future as part of this endeavor, and your contributions are tax deductible."

"This was the first time for the New Vision Kids to attend the museum," Swagerty says, "and judging from their reaction, it won't be the last. As the museum grows, this will become an annual event for us."