It takes a Storybook Village

Unique project ready to welcome the younger set until August 17

Two cents of regular please: Mathew Teves fills up at Storybook Village’s gas station in Qualicum Beach.

Two cents of regular please: Mathew Teves fills up at Storybook Village’s gas station in Qualicum Beach.

Youngsters can keep busy cruising in mini cars, grocery shopping, painting with parrots and playing with science kits this summer, as Storybook Village has re-opened for its second season.

Storybook Village in an outdoor, child-size village at Qualicum Beach Elementary School for all kids in the area to enjoy free, complete with a fire hall, theatre, bank and grocery store, among other playhouses. The buildings are connected by little roadways with stop lights that children can peddle through in a mini car of their choice. There is also an alphabet garden with vegetables and flowers. The Village is a project of the region’s Building Learning Together (BLT) program, a coalition of community partners that support early learning for children ages zero to six and their families.

There are quite a few new community partnerships this year, said director of BLT, Deborah Davenport, including Science World. With the help of some community partners, like the local Rotary groups and the Regional District of Nanaimo, a number of Science kits were put together for the kids to use in the playhouses. This will be a pilot project for the province, Davenport said, and could potentially extend to other communities.

Return community partners that will have on-site volunteers interacting with the kids include the local libraries, Nanaimo recycling exchange, The Qualicum Beach Museum and The World Parrot Refuge. There will also be seniors, middle and high school students helping out.

“I love the fact that the community is kind of rallying around Storybook [Village] and Alphabet Garden and they sort of find a home for themselves there,” Davenport said.

Visit http://www.sd69.bc.ca/programs/BLT/Programs/StorybookVillage for more.