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The Standard - Niagara Falls Review

Reviving the lost art of letter writing

Children’s program offered twice this month by Niagara Falls Public Library

by Alison Langley

Laura Martin, community development and programming manager for the Niagara Falls Public Library, has developed a letter writing workshop. - Julie Jocsak , The St. Catharines Standard

Laura Martin has the write stuff.

The community development and programming manager at Niagara Falls Public library has created a new program that introduces children to the lost art of letter writing.

"Facebook is not the only way to communicate with people," she said with a smile.

Martin came up with the idea after reading an article about a café in Alberta that hosts letter-writing socials, called a letter-writing salon.

"The idea was to connect people back to the idea of letter writing because it is a lost art," she said. "I thought it was a great idea."

The library now offers free workshops to teach kids the basics when it comes to writing that perfect letter. Stationery, stamps and envelopes are all provided.

"Everyone has someone they can mail a letter to … whether it's somebody who lives across the street, across the city, across the province, across the country or around the world."

Letter writing, she said, can strengthen literacy skills, improve penmanship and fine motor skills and also bring families together.

"It is such a sustainable program because you can take it home and do it at home as a family."

The new program is part of the ongoing Niagara Healthy Kids Community Challenge.

The program is part of a provincewide initiative being held across 45 communities and is aimed at promoting healthy, active lifestyles for children.

The program has been rolled out in several phases. The latest component encourages families to reduce screen time.

"We were challenged to come up with programming that encourages turning off screens and, to me, this was a perfect match for that," Martin said.

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