Spring Break coming to the Fort Frances Library

Jocelyn Galloway

Just because there is a pandemic at play, does not mean spring break needs to be boring for kids.

Thanks to the collaboration between Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce and Fort Frances Public Library, students can access age-appropriate activities to do safely from home throughout the week of April 12 to 16.

“What we are doing is a little series of curbside-pickup activities with different ages of kids and interests in mind,” said Andrea Avis, part-time children’s librarian. “We have tried to think of activities that were a little bit artsy, and a little bit science-based, and, of course, something fun.”

Thursday, April 15, the Zoom event “Jo Jo Entertainment Magic Show” will be offered through the library’s website and Facebook page. Avis said the entertainment group is based out of Toronto and the show is geared towards children of all ages.

Out of all the activities, the magic show is the only time specific event. All the other activities can be flexible with families’ schedules.

Each activity has been designed to accommodate 25 children. However, the library is looking at early registration to see if they need to accommodate more.

Activities include “Paint with Jesse” where children ages six and up will be provided a canvas, paints and brushes to learn painting techniques to create a “Bzzz Bee Painting”. “Tween Tea Light”, for ages eight and up, provides materials to make a lantern. “STEM Activities to Go” encourages kids to use recycled materials to create a ballon car.

Lastly, “Detective Mission” is a game where players are provided a packet that includes numerous tasks to complete to get to the final goal. There is two levels depending on the age of the child.

Supplies for activities can be picked up by curbside at the library on Tuesday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Wednesday, April 14 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and Thursday, April 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The library is asking families to text (807) 271-6367 upon arrival.

Avis said the detective mission has a great prize for the older-age group once they complete the mission. But she said not to worry if they do not make it to the library during the week, as prizes will be handed out the following week.

All of the information concerning the activities will be up on the library’s website.

“We didn’t want to do a lot of virtual activities because children have been doing school online and have had no real time where they can get out to hockey or soccer,” said Heather Johnson, executive director of the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce. “But when it came down to it, we wanted something, that even though it has to be virtual, it’s hands on.”

Since collaborating last summer for the drive-in theatre, Johnson said the partnership with the library works well and was happy when the library reached out for the spring break activities.

The Chamber of Commerce has not been able to do their signature events yet. However, Johnson said she is hopeful for the fall.

“We still want to be there to give back to the community,” said Johnson. “And provide something for the families that are going through so much right now. So if we can do this little bit, I think that is good.”

The library requests participants to register early over the weekend for planning of materials. The link will be up on its website by Friday.