KIDZMANIA: Insects, science, families and fun

KIDZMANIA is a family, fun adventure that is held each year by Linking Families and Communities. Engaging a child’s curiosity and imagination is the goal of KIDZMANIA.

This year, it will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Crossroads Mall.

A variety of local organizations participate, providing activities for children and an easy way to informally network with parents.

Elizabeth Stanek, Linking Families and Communities executive director, said, “One of our agency’s priorities is to help improve access to resources for families, which is how the concept of KIDZMANIA came about.”

Linking Families and Communities is a nonprofit organization dedicated to young children, prenatal to age 5, and their families. It seeks to empower parents in raising happy, healthy children by providing families with educational, economic, and health support by coordinating services with community resources.

“The primary purpose of KIDZMANIA is to host an event that showcases many of the organizations in our community that provide services that benefit children, families, and students,” said Amy Bruno, program coordinator of the Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Fort Dodge.

It is a way for the community to know what resources are available that can help them address barriers and challenges they are facing, such as mental illness, homelessness, learning disabilities, housing needs, what career to choose, what classes to take, or types of extra-curricular activities for children.

A festival atmosphere makes initial contact relaxed, and helps when educating guests about their services.

“The atmosphere is electric,” said Stanek. “There are so many things for children and families to do and learn about.”

Both Linking Families and Communities and the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way partner to hel bring the free activities for children to KIDZMANIA.

This year they will increase the amount of STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – activities through partnership with the North Central Iowa STEM Hub, which is based at Iowa State University. To that end, North Central Iowa STEM Hub and Iowa Central Community College, event sponsors, will offer activities such as circuit bending, 3-D printing, robotics, welding, and electronics and computers.

There will be past favorites too, such as offerings from the Science Center of Iowa and the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium.

And kids will get to see, hear and touch insects from the popular ISU Insect Zoo.

“Entertainment on center sage will be performed by numerous acts around the area,” said Bruno.

There will be Hollingsworth School of Dance and Gymnastics, Vicky’s Dance Academy, United All Stars, Magic of Larry Dunbar, Stage Door Productions, and MCAC Kids Kempo.

Comedia Musica will perform exerpts from its upcoming production, “Mary Poppins”

There will also be photo opprotunities. Kids will get to meet superheroes Batman and Wonderwoman, and princesses Elsa and Anna. They might even catch a glimpse of Cy the Cyclone or Herky the Hawkeye.

“It’s fun, free and educational,” said Stanek.

There will be games and activities for everyone who attends. There are going to be things that will be there that you can’t see on any day in Fort Dodge or surrounding areas.

Not only will it be fun, but educational too. Children and families can learn something new and learn about community resources. Guest can get information about a service, business or group at KIDZMANIA and ask them questions right on the spot.

“Everyone is encouraged to attend, we welcome all,” said Bruno.

For more information, contact Stanek at 955-5437 or estanek@linking-families.com; or Bruno at 573-3180 or amy.bruno@frontier.com

KIDZMANIA: Insects, science, families and fun

KIDZMANIA is a family, fun adventure that is held each year by Linking Families and Communities. Engaging a child’s curiosity and imagination is the goal of KIDZMANIA.

This year, it will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Crossroads Mall.

A variety of local organizations participate, providing activities for children and an easy way to informally network with parents.

Elizabeth Stanek, Linking Families and Communities executive director, said, “One of our agency’s priorities is to help improve access to resources for families, which is how the concept of KIDZMANIA came about.”

Linking Families and Communities is a nonprofit organization dedicated to young children, prenatal to age 5, and their families. It seeks to empower parents in raising happy, healthy children by providing families with educational, economic, and health support by coordinating services with community resources.

“The primary purpose of KIDZMANIA is to host an event that showcases many of the organizations in our community that provide services that benefit children, families, and students,” said Amy Bruno, program coordinator of the Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Fort Dodge.

It is a way for the community to know what resources are available that can help them address barriers and challenges they are facing, such as mental illness, homelessness, learning disabilities, housing needs, what career to choose, what classes to take, or types of extra-curricular activities for children.

A festival atmosphere makes initial contact relaxed, and helps when educating guests about their services.

“The atmosphere is electric,” said Stanek. “There are so many things for children and families to do and learn about.”

Both Linking Families and Communities and the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way partner to hel bring the free activities for children to KIDZMANIA.

This year they will increase the amount of STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – activities through partnership with the North Central Iowa STEM Hub, which is based at Iowa State University. To that end, North Central Iowa STEM Hub and Iowa Central Community College, event sponsors, will offer activities such as circuit bending, 3-D printing, robotics, welding, and electronics and computers.

There will be past favorites too, such as offerings from the Science Center of Iowa and the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium.

And kids will get to see, hear and touch insects from the popular ISU Insect Zoo.

“Entertainment on center sage will be performed by numerous acts around the area,” said Bruno.

There will be Hollingsworth School of Dance and Gymnastics, Vicky’s Dance Academy, United All Stars, Magic of Larry Dunbar, Stage Door Productions, and MCAC Kids Kempo.

Comedia Musica will perform exerpts from its upcoming production, “Mary Poppins”

There will also be photo opprotunities. Kids will get to meet superheroes Batman and Wonderwoman, and princesses Elsa and Anna. They might even catch

a glimpse of Cy the

Cyclone or Herky the Hawkeye.

“It’s fun, free and educational,” said Stanek.

There will be games and activities for everyone who attends. There are going to be things that will be there that you can’t see on any day in Fort Dodge or surrounding areas.

Not only will it be fun, but educational too. Children and families can learn something new and learn about community resources. Guest can get information about a service, business or group at KIDZMANIA and ask them questions right on the spot.

“Everyone is encouraged to attend, we welcome all,” said Bruno.

For more information, contact Stanek at 955-5437 or estanek@linking-families.com; or Bruno at 573-3180 or amy.bruno@frontier.com