There has been a rash of vandalism at Qualicum Beach Elementary School’s Storybook Village, and the organization that looks after it is issuing a public plea.
“I think if we come together as a community maybe we can stop this,” said director of Building Learning Together (BLT), Deborah Davenport.
BLT is a coalition of community partners, schools, ministries and agencies that support early learning for children ages zero to six and their families, and Storybook Village is one of their projects.
The child-size village, located at the elementary school, is 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 peddle through in mini cars. There is also an alphabet garden with vegetables and flowers.
Davenport said recently the village has been victim to graffiti, broken lights and windows and general defacing. Many of the locks on the houses have been broken and there have even been people found sleeping in the buildings.
“It just makes my heart cry,” said Davenport, citing all the people who donated their time to develop the village and help make it run.
With a limited amount of resources the organization is barely able to keep up with the vandalism, she said, and are currently trying to get it prepared for the annual Spooktacular Event on Oct. 29, where kids come dressed up to the village to partake in Halloween activities.
Davenport is asking that people keep an eye on the village. The doors to the houses should be closed and locked unless there’s an event, so please report any suspicious activity to the police.
Davenport said the village had a successful summer season, with close to 2000 visits. It is now closed except for events.