Re “City considers fee for museum, mansion” (Page 3A, May 23): I have been a docent at McHenry Museum for 12 years. In 2005, we had many programs and activities (with staff members to help organize and coordinate each of them). As the staff was cut, these programs were taken over by volunteers. It has taken a lot of dedication and hard work, but the museum and its programs have continued to thrive. Our museums are local treasures!
Charging admission is a bad idea. Now, it is an equal-opportunity educational experience for children and parents. On my “docent days” families often drop in, and they’re delighted with what they find. Many school children come for a tour, then convince parents and siblings to come so they can share what they’ve learned.
We have a number of special activities for kids – some once a month. If these children had to pay admission, many would not come. Being “free” is a major incentive for attendance. Poor people would be shut out from the start and many would just not bother to visit; attendance would dwindle. This is disheartening to docents.
Those who vote for this change should first be required to spend a few afternoons as docents.
Mary Griffin, Modesto