Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – Raising Awareness of the Sonoran Desert

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum pic

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Image: desertmuseum.org

Lew McGinnis has been an entrepreneur and real estate investor for more than 55 years. Lew McGinnis has also held leadership positions for numerous civic organizations, including the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Foundation, where he served as director.

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum aims to foster among individuals an appreciation of the Sonoran Desert. Encompassing 98 acres, the museum is 85 percent outdoors and features two miles of walking paths. Visitors can explore various desert habitats that are home to 230 animal species and 1,200 plant types. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum also features a zoo, a botanical garden, a natural history museum, an art gallery, and an aquarium.

In addition to helping visitors appreciate the Sonoran Desert, the museum aims to raise conservation awareness through its research and programs. The Conservation Education & Science Department carries out research across multiple disciplines and works with the people of Mexico on matters related to research and conservation, as two-thirds of the Sonoran Desert lies in Mexico.

To learn more about the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, visit www.desertmuseum.org.

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Adult New Readers Are Building Their Brains

Lew McGinnis, a real estate investor of Nichols Hill, Oklahoma, is proud of being a self-made businessman and real estate executive. He is also a dedicated donor to philanthropic causes that have improved the lives of people in Oklahoma and beyond. As a young man, Lew McGinnis struggled with dyslexia, and did not learn to read until the age of 18. He has since then dedicated himself to tutoring and encouraging young people in reading.

About 45 million American adults read at or below a fifth grade level; even among high school graduates, about one-fifth lack basic literacy skills. Millions aren’t even able to enjoy the simple pleasure of reading a bedtime story to their children. Yet people who learn to read as adults see new worlds open in front of their eyes, and can serve as inspirations to others as they persevere toward their goals.

Recent research strongly suggests that the brain itself undergoes significant changes whenever an adult learns to read. Every time a person learns a new language or skill, his or her brain creates new neural pathways. And now, the brain scans of emergent adult readers have also shown brain alterations deep below the surface of the cortex, the upper brain region previously thought to be mostly responsible for higher-level abilities such as reading.

Experts have pointed out that this research could be a game-changer in the ways educators teach literacy to adults.

CJAMM New Day Camp Helps Children Heal after Parents’ Incarceration

New Day Camp pic

New Day Camp
Image: okumcministries.org

Lew McGinnis has worked as a real estate investor in Oklahoma for more than 50 years. In his free time, Lew McGinnis is actively involved in his Oklahoma community through groups and organizations such as the Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministry (CJAMM), where he serves as the finance chairman.

The mission of CJAMM is to break the generational cycle of prison by reuniting prison inmates with their families and providing care for the children of parents serving jail time. One of the ministries offered by CJAMM is New Day Camp, a place for children with one or more parents serving time.

The goal of the camp is to provide an open and accepting area where children can express their hopes and dreams freely while taking part in Bible study. The children are separated into small groups, each with an adult supervisor. In the groups, the children participate in activities such as counseling, worship, and arts and crafts.

The children also play games designed to improve self-confidence and teamwork. Outdoor activities include swimming and canoeing in Lake Texoma.