Free art and reading programs at Lord Roberts CC


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This article was published 10/04/2017 (2240 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Children ages four and up are invited to Lord Roberts Community Centre to express themselves artistically and have fun in the centre’s new drop-in art and reading programs.

Art classes are running every Monday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. until the end of June.

Winnipeg artist Myra Smith has previously taught crafts for many years, with inner city youth and with special-needs children at the Behavioural Health Foundation.

With the help of the children, Smith is planning to transform a basement room at the community club into an art studio. A group effort is required to create a huge art mural in the room, and Smith will decide how to include every child in this creation.

Smith intends to plan each class but if someone prefers to do something different, she will encourage them to explore another art activity.

“We want kids to do what brightens them up inside,” says Ray Eskritt, general manager at LRCC.

The art studio is not without rules. No one is allowed to make fun of or criticize someone’s art. The supplies, which are partly paid for by LRCC fundraisers, are not to be wasted. Children may sometimes be asked to clean up.
“When we have a serious mess, it is not a priority to have the children clean up,” said Eskritt. “That is for adults.”

Parents are welcome to attend the art classes.

Young artists need nourishment but do not fret. A snack will be provided on the main floor and so too is supervision.

Bookworms is LRCC’s second free drop-in program. Children from four and up can attend this program on Fridays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the downstairs youth lounge. It will run until the end of June.

Brontee Gray, a substitute teacher with Winnipeg School Division, heads up the reading program. She has been running a literacy program in the inner city for six years.

Gray brings a portable library to LRCC so there are plenty of books at a range of reading levels.  After children have read 10 books at their reading levels, they receive rewards. An older child can read to a younger child.

Parents, if they choose to attend, are encouraged to read to children other than to their own. Children who cannot read enjoy being read to and may like pointing out objects they hear of or letters and words they see in their books.

Some books lead to spinoff activities, such as games or making cookies. Of course, a snack is provided for hungry readers.

People learning English might benefit from attending this class with a child. This Friday class gives people time to practise reading in a supportive environment. Volunteers are welcome pending a clean child abuse registry check.

To aid in the development of its own library, LRCC will gladly accept any gently used children’s books and teen novels weekdays between 3 and 9 p.m. 

Dianne Doney is a community correspondent for Fort Rouge. You can contact her at

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