Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/1/2021 (271 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Free weekly kits are being made available to entertain and inspire Spence neighbourhood youngsters.
Spence Neighbourhood Association’s after-school program, called Building Belonging, usually runs weekdays for kids aged six to 12 at the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre (430 Langside St.). Owing to the pandemic, the program was closed from April to June, and it shut down again in November and has yet to re-open.
To keep supporting families, organizers have been working with partners to deliver weekly kits jam-packed with art activities, recreation equipment, donated books, board games, puzzles, science workbooks and experiments, as well as mitts and toques.
Donations are always in demand for these items, as well as for skates, sleds and other outdoor equipment to keep kids active throughout winter.
Building Belonging co-ordinator Allison Besel said they’ve shared kits for slime-making and gingerbread houses from partners at the University of Winnipeg’s Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre, as well as reading activity kits from the Winnipeg Public Library.
They’ve also provided supplies for kids to make tie-dye T-shirts and to write letters to families and friends, and they’ve matched kids with bikes, helmets and locks thanks to the WRENCH.
"We are now collecting skates so kids can enjoy the local rinks," she said. "Our connection with Kristie
Pearson’s network of donors and community donations have also helped us meet families’ immediate needs such as cat and dog food, toilet paper and hygiene supplies. We are currently delivering to 20 families with 30 kids and have delivered 491 kits so far."
Kids aged six to 12 who live in the Spence neighbourhood or who attend John M. King or Sister MacNamara schools are eligible for the kits. The neighbourhoods boundaries are from Portage to Notre Dame avenues between Agnes and Balmoral streets.
"We hope the kits inspire kids to learn and create, help them cope with stress, connect them to others, remove barriers to outdoor recreation, meet immediate needs and help families bond while they stay safe at home with their children," Besel said.
"Our weekly check-ins with families also help us sustain the relationships we have built through our after-school and community programs and help them access SNA and community resources."
The Emergency Comic Book Super Kit is one of the weekly activities distributed from partners at Art City, Besel added.
"During our regular after-school programming, Art City Outreach joins us once a week to run art workshops at our centre. Since November 2020, they have partnered with us to offer weekly art kits to registered participants as part of our deliveries," she said.
Registration forms for the Building Belonging Program are available online at spenceneighbourhood.org or families can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In another initiative, the Food Around the World program launched in October for participants aged 12 to 17. These youth receive weekly deliveries of recipes and ingredients to experience cooking and enjoy new flavours. To sign up, contact Carolina Meneses at email@example.com.
"We have delivered a total of 360 packages so far and have tried 13 different recipes from around the world," Meneses said.
"The program started as a way to celebrate and acknowledge our staff and participants’ cultural diversity and also as a way to learn more about each other and the role that food plays in people’s cultures.(Young people’s) families have also gotten involved sharing their own recipes with us."
In addition, book kits are available for kids aged 12 and under at the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre during Warming Centre hours (Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).