The Sandbox Children's Museum is the brainchild of a group of Lowcountry moms who saw a great need for a community educational play space for preschool and early elementary children. After conducting focus groups in early 2003, their information feasibility study confirmed the need for such a place and concluded that it would be well supported by the community. They researched other similiar demographic areas and discovered that opening a non profit interactive children's museum was the perfect way to meet this need. After gathering support from community and business leaders, as well as educators, they formed a Board of Directors and received thier non profit status in December of 2003. The Board of Directors spent most of 2004 building a development plan, business plan and strategic plan and in the fall embarked on a capital campaign to raise $255,000 to open their doors. After securing their initial funds and a desirable location, they began a building renovation project in the spring of 2005. By the fall of 2005, they reached their capital campaign goal and began their play center design and development. The Sandbox formally opened its doors on December 6, 2005 and eager to serve the families of our community.
“Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children” –Walt Disney
- Keri Olivetti - President
- Jim Gant - Vice President
- Jason Stevens – Treasurer
- John Jolley – Secretary
- Andrea Argast
- Norm Argast
- Brian Kinard
- Debi Lynes
- Becca Edwards
- Kelly Presnell
- Lavon Stevens
- Jennie Cerrati
Alyson Barber | Director of Development & Communication
Alyson, the newest member of The Sandbox family, recently moved back to the Lowcountry after spending five years in Texas. She earned a BA in Political Science and Master of Public Administration from the University of West Florida, and has spent the majority of her career working in non-profit organizations.
Prior to joining The Sandbox, Alyson worked her way through the ranks at a variety of organizations, including Texas Christian University, Senior Citizen Services of Greater Tarrant County, American Red Cross, Beaufort Memorial Hospital, and American Cancer Society. Her non-profit experience includes fundraising, community outreach, program design and evaluation, public relations, marketing, crisis communication, volunteer management, and event planning.
Alyson lives in Bluffton with her husband and three children. When she is not spending time with her family, she enjoys running, cooking, and reading (although not necessarily in that order).
Caroline Rinehart | Operations Manager
Caroline worked in the hotel/hospitality industry for 18 years before moving to Hilton Head in March of 2009, when she started at The Sandbox. She graduated from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Hospitality Sales and Meeting Management and worked for Hyatt Hotels at five different properties, starting in Hilton Head in 1992 and then Atlanta, Houston, Dallas and most recently in Lexington, KY.
Her hospitality background is primarily in Operations and Catering. After working in the corporate world for so many years, Caroline’s background in hotel day-to-day operations propelled her to take the position with The Sandbox. She loves meeting new people and wanted to work with a non-profit organization, especially one geared for children.
Caroline resides on Hilton Head Island with her husband and two daughters and enjoys the local beaches, hanging out with her family and photography.
Kimberly Cavanagh | Education Program Coordinator
Kimberly, a Fulbright scholar, holds a Phd in Cultural Anthropology, an MA in Cultural Anthropology, and a Graduate Certificate in Visual Anthropology from the University of South Carolina. She also holds two undergraduate degrees from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada in Anthropology and Classical Archaeology. She was recently awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award in Social Sciences by University of South Carolina Education Foundation in recognition of her pedagogical approaches.
Her interest in educational programming spans nearly fifteen years. During her first undergraduate degree, she completed an 18-month internship with the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec, where she developed and implemented a variety of educational programs, including the “Mysteries of Egypt” and “Black History Month”, along with programs that complimented the permanent children’s exhibits housed at the museum. More recently she has worked with middle school aged children, developing and teaching a course titled ‘Adventures in Anthropology and Archaeology” with the University of South Carolina’s Pre-University Programs. Her students learned about scientific observation through Gold Fish crackers and explored ideas of gender through Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.
Kimberly lives in Bluffton with her husband and daughter. In addition to her position at The Sandbox, Kimberly is an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort. Whether working with kindergarteners or university level students, she strives to incorporate integrative learning into all the activities she presents.