Creativity comes alive at Anza’s Little Red Schoolhouse

Lilyann Lyon, age 5, watches as Bud Elmore assists her on building a birdhouse. Diane Sieker photo
Lilyann Lyon, age 5, watches as Bud Elmore assists her on building a birdhouse. Diane Sieker photo

Minor Park and the Little Red Schoolhouse exploded with creativity Saturday, March 18, when from 1-3 p.m. a special workshop hosted by the Anza Civic Improvement League attracted talented children of all ages to try their hand at building, painting and decorating their very own bird house, garden stake plaque or flower pot. Materials and kits were provided.

The event, sponsored in part by Packard Construction, Lorraine’s Pet Supply, and Whittle Business Services, was a tremendous success, according to event organizers.

Children started arriving right on time and immediately got busy on a craft project that they selected themselves. Steve Packard and Bud Elmore started the children on their bird house kits, assisting them by stapling the pieces together after the little builders applied glue to the edges, showing that the staples held it together until the glue dried.

Every step was explained thoroughly to the children who paid close attention during the event, eager to learn and gaining in knowledge as they understood how this simple box was put together to make a home for their feathered friends. Safety goggles and protective gloves were supplied.

Some participants chose to make garden stake plaques or paint and decorate flower pots. ACIL President Debbi Vesey assisted in the painting, gluing appliques and adding stickers. Little artists as young as 3 years old concentrated on their masterpieces. The results were stunning.

Parents and guardians looked on as the creations handmade by their children came to life.

Albert Rodriguez of Anza Valley Falcons and Hunting Hawks was on hand as well, showing off his very active male Harris hawk “Squeaky.” The bird had his own perch and hood and Rodriguez answered hawk questions. He shared his knowledge of the bird, as well as the many other raptors he works with. Everyone was impressed to be this close to such a majestic bird of prey.

“Eight new feathered friend’s condos were built and 15 or so custom garden plaques will also now adorn our great surroundings in Anza,” said Elmore, adding he was very happy with the turnout. “We look forward to making this type of event for our community as often as possible”

Special thanks went to the volunteers and Steve Packard of Packard Construction (materials and expertise), Patricia Whittle of Whittle Business Services (craft materials and paint), Lorraine Elmore of Lorraine’s Pet Supply (bird seed for the bird house artists), Jeff Vollmer (materials), Bud and Buddy Elmore (cutting the wood for the kits and expertise) and Albert Rodriguez and “Squeaky” of Anza Valley Falcons and Hunting Hawks. Extra special recognition to the dedicated members of ACIL for planning and organizing this fun and educational event. Their hard work was evident.

For more information about upcoming ACIL events, call Elmore at (951) 581-4409 or Ken Ogren at (619) 417-0125.

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