Summer walk program proves a hit

The Francophone community of the Elk Valley has been giving parents and families the opportunity to read popular stories bilingually over the past few weeks.

Formally called the Summer Stories Around Town (Histoires d’été en ville) program, general director of Association Francophone des Rocheuses du Sud (AFRoS) Maylis Destremau said “the idea is to walk with your kids and read the story in French and in English.”

Operating over eight weeks, all the way up to Sep. 2, the program will be in its seventh week as of Aug. 20, with popular children’s stories spread over multiple signs in open parks in Sparwood and Fernie.

“What I like about this program is it goes from a Wednesday to a Wednesday. There is no fixed time – you can go anytime you want, it’s really flexible,” said Destremau, who added that feedback had been very positive.

Through the next few days up until next Wednesday Aug. 27, participants will be able to read ‘Jill and the Beanstalk’ in both languages during a walk through the Annex Park in Fernie.

Participants in Sparwood will be able to read ‘Stolen Words’ at the Elk River Pedestrian Trail.

Participation is free and all are welcome.

Another program also being operated by AFRoS and its partners CBAL (Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy), FWRC (Fernie Women’s Resource Centre) and Kootenay Signs is the ‘take and make’ package program, wherein children can pick up kits to make various props and toys associated with the stories families can read each week. For example in a previous week families could decorate walking sticks with decorations donated to AFRoS.

Children interested in taking part can pick up a package from the AFRoS office (in the covered garage) in Fernie, and at the library in Sparwood.

AFRoS will also be holding its Annual General Meeting on Aug. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Royal Beer Garden at 501 1st Ave. in Fernie.

All members are welcomed, though AFRoS would like those planning to attend to RSVP by contacting them via email at .
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