YORK — York Area Children’s Museum is now home for its very own “Little Blue Truck.”

The vehicle is inspired by “The Little Blue Truck” children’s books. “It has a similar look to Little Blue Truck from the books -- all we’re missing is his good friend toad to drive,” said Rose Scheinost, volunteer and York Area Children’s Museum board member.

In the initial installment of the beloved series (written by Alice Schertle), the Little Blue Truck drives down a country road, where it encounters friendly animals along the way. A mean dump truck passes in front, but ends up getting stuck down the road. Little Blue Truck comes to the rescue and they both get stuck. Their animal friends save the day. “The end of the story highlights that ‘a lot depends on the helping hands from a few good friends’ -- a perfect lesson for children about kindness and perseverance,” Scheinost explained.

This little blue truck got some help from a few good friends, too: it was made by York High School’s woods class, and funded by donors.

Scheinost said YHS instructor Jason Hirschfeld and his students exceeded the museum’s expectations. “Our most sincere thanks to the woods class at York High School for taking this project on and building it to be everything we needed and more,” she said. “They generously took on the project, completed it, and installed it into the museum.”

“This project was a great way for all my students and the FFA kids who helped paint and build a great partnership with the community. It turned out to be a great learning opportunity,” Hirschfeld said.

Scheinost said a new vehicle was needed. “Our museum board had been noticing that the old car that we had in the museum was really starting to show its wear from the many years of play. We wanted to replace it with something that would better suit the rural theme of the corn field that’s painted on the wall behind it.”

The York Area Children’s Museum is tucked away in the York City Auditorium’s basement. In addition to its little blue truck, it recently added a dance studio space – complete with tap shoes and costumes, thanks to Jodie Blase, owner and director of York Dance Center.

Another new exhibit is the York Animal Clinic veterinary corner. The kid-friendly “clinic” includes an exam table, X-ray viewing box for animal X-rays, installed IV fluid bags, restocked new plush animals and child-safe exam tools.

Looking ahead, we will be showcasing our other new and updated exhibits. Our next room update will be the sensory room.

The Little Blue Truck and the other exhibits bring a lot of traffic to the auditorium’s downstairs space. From March 2018 to May 2019, the museum attracted individuals from 66 towns and 10 different states.

The museum is open Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, and is available at other times by request for special occasions. Besides casual visitors, the museum has been used for preschool field trips and birthday parties. Church groups and child care facilities also take advantage of the special auditorium playspace.

Scheinost said community support keeps the York Area Children’s Museum going. “Without the generosity of our local businesses, projects like these would not take flight. This project was completed because of their generosity. Projects like these that are great reminders how important it is to shop local, and give back to those who give to their community.”

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