On Tuesday, June 14th, children arrived at Baldwin Park ready to create some arts and crafts magic with volunteers from the Montpelier Community Group. The group is in the midst of its first annual Crafts in the Park, a free community program, each Tuesday in June from 11 a.m. to noon for children of all ages. This week’s focus was on celebrating the American Flag for Flag Day, and despite the sprinkling rain, twenty-four children were in attendance.
As they crowded around picnic tables, they first listened to a story about our flag, Old Glory. Following the story, participants worked with markers, glue, and stickers to create their own patriotic masterpieces - red, white, and blue hats to wear. Once finished with the hats, they decorated treat bags for Veterans. According to group member Kim Batten, the treat bags will be donated to Marion VA Hospital, where they will be filled with treats for bingo night. Kids received their own treats for participating in the form of fruit snacks and candy.
Grandmother Judy Duncan brings her grandson each week because, in her words, “It’s fun to see them happy and learning.”
Mary Chechak brought a few of her great nieces and nephews. When asked how events like this benefit the community, she replied, “It’s good to keep the kids busy since they’re not in school. It gives them something to look forward to.”
Montpelier Community Group members recognized a need for a local program earlier this spring when other organizations were planning summer activities for kids. Although surrounding towns like Hartford City and Bluffton offer a wide variety of summer activities, the group believed more townspeople would benefit from a program that would take place right here in Montpelier on a weekly basis. So, they decided to do something about it. So far the response from the community has been positive, and the group is already discussing possibilities for next year.
For parents and caretakers looking to avoid the problem of summer boredom, events like Crafts in the Park and the weekly library program (on Wednesday mornings) provide a dose of fun along with educational value. The Crafts in the Park program will run for two more weeks on Tuesdays - June 21st and June 28th.