NORTH BATTLEFORD — The Battlefords Early Years Family Resource Centre held a “Meet A Machine” literacy event for children zero to six and their families Saturday, Sept. 17.
“Kids grow up knowing the garbage trucks, seeing our street sweepers, they grow up loving the Zambonis at the hockey rink … sometimes, the kids don’t actually get a chance to meet the machine and the operator. So this is an opportunity for kids to get that real-life interaction with the machines,” said Kailyn Tyndall, the co-ordinator for Battlefords Early Years Family Resource Centre.
Children had a chance to meet with 22 vehicles and their operators, including a firetruck, street sweeper, police car, garbage truck and a combine. Children's books focused on vehicles that children will see around the Battlefords were given to them and their families, along with scavenger hunt cards.
“At home, they can read books about the real-life interaction they’ve had with the vehicles that day,” Tyndall said.
Event organizers said the inaugural event was started to provide access to the myriad of vehicles children often see but never get a chance to meet.
“I think it really provides that sense of interaction, not only the child with the machine, but the child with the operator,” Tyndall added.
The Battlefords Early Years Family Resource Centre, which opened at the end of January 2020, is relatively new to the community and could not host in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, they’re able to start hosting in-person events.
“We were very limited in the in-person services that we could offer. Now, just this year, we have lifted some of our restrictions, and we just had our grand opening in June,” Tyndall said. Now, programming has gone back to pre-pandemic levels.
All of the vehicles for the event were volunteered by local organizations, governments, and businesses, including: the City of North Battleford, North Battleford RCMP, North Battleford Fire Department, Loraas Environmental, Department of Highways, RedHead equipment, Brad Mcleod Milk & Water Delivery, Battlefords Pure Water Delivery, Bout Time Ride Truck, BATC, Western Development Museum, and First Student Canada.