Meet Jaqui Benford Swift

"Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire"
                        - William Butler Yeats

Jacquelyn Benford Swift fondly remembers digging for fossils in our dinosaur area as a five year old. But it was during her junior year at Tyner High School that the Creative Discovery Museum really helped spark her passion.

Jacquelyn Benford Swift fondly remembers digging for fossils in our dinosaur area as a five year old. Jacquelyn had joined the Tyner Science Troupe, a for-credit class created by the Creative Discovery Museum in collaboration with high school science teachers. As a member of the Troupe, Jacquelyn worked with other students to develop and present science demonstrations at elementary schools and for Museum audiences. For Jacquelyn, it was a life-changing experience.

Kids’ faces would light up when something they didn’t expect happened even if it was a basic science principle,” says Jacquelyn. “The ‘aha’ moments and their little epiphanies were what I liked best.“

When children discover their passions, you can inspire their lives forever. Your support of the Museum will help spark joy and passions for careers and inspire all children to explore, innovate, create and play.

Jacquelyn had her own “aha” moment in this unique Museum program. She loved the creativity and hands-on demonstrations the Tyner Science Troupe created. The course taught her science, as well as, how to keep kids’ attention. She was given a basic syllabus with vague bullet points, but working with their Science teacher and Creative Discovery Museum staff, Jacquelyn planned science demonstrations and put her creative spin on it. The presentations were made to Bess T. Shepherd and Hillcrest Elementary School third grade students.

After graduating from college, Jacquelyn returned to the Museum as an Educator and was able to further explore career opportunities in education. Now

After graduating from college, Jacquelyn returned to the Museum as an Educator and was able to further explore career opportunities in education. Now she is planning to teach her own passion as she pursues a master’s degree at Sewanee with ambition to become a college professor teaching English Composition or Creative Writing. This school year, she is continuing her training teaching poetry to children in the Nashville area.

Creative Discovery Museum is more than just a fun day for our children. The programs inside and outside of the Museum provide long-lasting impacts that help shape a child’s future.

Ticket sales, memberships and program fees, however, only cover 60% of our annual operating budget. Your support is critical for our special programs, traveling exhibits and school outreach like the Science Troupe program. As an annual fund donor, your gift to the Museum will be an investment in our kids, sparking a love of science, art and learning that lasts a lifetime.

Your gift will help pay for:

  • Exciting exhibits from the top children’s museums in the country such as Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea opening this January and Sid the Science Kid: The Super-Duper Exhibit coming next summer
  • Free admission to the Museum for over 35,000 underprivileged children and families a year
  • Educational special events such as Honey Harvest Festival and Chinese New Year
  • School programs that serve over 60,000 students a year in their classroom or at the Museum
  • Museum Apprentice program where 100 teen volunteers develop life and leadership skills
  • Countdown to Kindergarten which seeks to help every rising kindergartner get ready for school

Your gift will give over 50,000 kids in the outreach programs their own “aha” moments.

You can help provide opportunities for kids to explore worlds they may never have experienced before and to participate in programs that could inspire a career or a lifelong interest. Creative Discovery Museum is a non-profit community asset created first and foremost for the families of Chattanooga, serving over 250,000 people each year.

Please make your tax-deductible gift today and help make Chattanooga the best place for a child to grow up.