New Horizons grant keeping seniors creative

·2 min read

The Strathmore Municipal Library is partnering with Strathmore FCSS to keep local seniors engaged and creative by offering project kits for them to work with.

In 2020, the Strathmore FCSS received a $25,000 New Horizons for Seniors grant. The original intention for the grant was to purchase iPads to help keep seniors connected.

In addition to the 15 tablets purchased, the library has partnered with local makers and artists who have created videos that are accessible on the tablets, as well as on a private YouTube channel, to create project kits based on the videos.

“That is a part that we’ve introduced into this project but come 2021 and as COVID-19 has continued in the world, we noticed that many people are still very homebound and just not getting a chance to get out to explore new hobbies or interests,” said Carmen Erison, assistant director of library services.

Seniors aged 55 and over are able to sign up and borrow craft kits from the library that match the video content on the private Youtube channel. The kits range in materials from resin pouring, to painting, to making dream catchers.

Erison said keeping seniors engaged and creative was something the library wanted to strive to provide for the local community.

“Many seniors are just thrilled to have access to this type of programming that is just made out for them,” said Erison. “We’re always willing to bring the library out of the physical building and to the people’s homes because we know some people just can’t get out right now and we want them to still feel like they’re actively involved in the community and learning something new.”

Seniors are able to sign out each kit for two-week intervals before returning them to the library to be refilled for the next person. This process will continue until all the resources having been made available through the grant, have been used up.

Erison said the resin pouring and dreamcatcher kits have been among the favorites so far.

“Currently all of our resin kits are out and seniors are crafting as we speak,” she said. “It has been just a really great response, but we do need to get the word out there more.”

The number of kits available depends on what materials they contain. Oil paints and resin pours are among the least available, whereas there is a much larger surplus of card making and dream catcher kits.

Those who are interested can go online to strathmorelibrary.ca/newhorizons to fill out a registration form for a kit, which the library will then assemble before it can then be picked up.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

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