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Niagara This Week - Welland

Welland library ready to lend out play

Library partners with Healthy Kids Community Challenge

The Welland Public Library is ready to lend out play.

Teaming up with the Healthy Kids Community Challenge — a provincewide initiative across 45 communities aimed at promoting healthy, active lifestyles for kids — the library has opened up a new section of its loan program, focusing on physical literacy. Specifically, the library will now lend out an array of outdoor recreation equipment, from sports equipment to cloth flying disks, to bubble wands, to badminton sets, alongside its traditional array of more literary fare.

“It’s all about encouraging kids to get outside,” said library co-ordinator of community engagement Marla Bestward. She explained that, with the challenge now in its fourth theme of Power Off and Play, the idea of lending out physical recreation equipment was a perfect fit.

Kicking off on July 3, the items will be lent out to all ages in the way a regular book or movie would be. The loan is free for library cardholders, with a one-week loan period.

Bestward explained the new program is part of the library’s ever-changing role in the community, encouraging not just traditional literacy, but also physical literacy, with other programs such as family Zumba and yoga classes.

“The scope of the library is definitely changing, to offer physical activity options,” said Bestward.

The full list of recreation items up for lending includes disk gliders, sport speed balls, click-and-catch sets, giant bubble wands, jumbo badminton, hula hoops, basketballs, soccer balls, footballs, tennis balls, jump ropes, Velcro ball-catcher sets, ankle skipping sets, rainbow streamers and ring-toss sets. The items are available at all three of the library’s branches: the Diamond Trail Branch on Southworth Street, Seaway Mall Branch and Main Branch at the Civic Square.

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