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Going on a hunt: Leeds launches local ‘bear hunt’ to build community

Stuffed animals are popping up in windows all over town as an idea from a neighborhood in Lexington has sparked a community-building measure in Clark County.

Sunday morning, Leeds Center for the Arts posted the idea for local “bear hunts” to Facebook.

Leeds board member Kristi Carpenter said she found the idea on Facebook and thought it could be fun to bring to Winchester.

“I made the post to Facebook and it caught on like wildfire,” she said.

The idea is based on the best-selling children’s book “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen. Families can watch the story at https://youtu.be/kL36gMrHJaI.

As part of the local movement, residents are encouraged to put stuffed animals, whether bears or bunnies, sloths or Sasquatch in the windows of their homes.

After watching the video, families can then either walk neighborhoods or take a drive around town searching for the stuffed animals in the windows.

If you place a stuffed animal in your window, you can post on Leeds’ Facebook page the general neighborhood, but not your specific address, so participants can know where to hunt.

There have been stuffed animals placed in dozens of locations so far, Carpenter said.

Once they have spotted the stuffed animals on their hunt, families are encouraged to return home and do something to continue the hunt with a creative project.

“Being an arts organization, we are hoping that after they go on their hunt, they will do something creative,” Carpenter said. “It could be drawing a pic, singing a song or acting out the book.”

She said Leeds hopes families will tie their bear hunts into their homeschool lessons.

“They could do P.E. by taking a walk in neighborhoods,” she said. “It could be reading or language arts when they read the book and then an arts lesson when they come home and do something creative.”

The main goal is to continue building positivity and community during a hard time.

“It keeps you engaged in your community,” she said. “And it reminds you that you’re not alone, that your community is there for you and you can still have fun.”

Leeds wants families that participate in the project to post photos using the hashtag #LeedsFamily so participants can follow along with each other.

“It’s a reminder that we’re all in this together,” Carpenter said.

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0049.

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