Mystery and theft are afoot in the cold, foggy community of Unalaska. Experts are suggesting that a local criminal, known as the Ballyhoo Bandit, is at large, and he's suspected of kidnapping the Easter Bunny.
Luckily, local officials have enlisted the help of the Eagle's View Elementary Achigaalux̂ Detective Agency. Still, the Easter Bunny's disappearance is causing a lot of disquiet among the generally idle island residents.
"I'm a bit nervous that the Ballyhoo Bandit is going to kidnap us too," said Eliza Hancock, a first grader on the case of the missing Easter Bunny.
Like many of her fellow EVE detectives, Hancock began her search Monday afternoon when she picked up her top secret case file from the local Community Center.
Along with the file, she was also given access to a video that detailed clues, information about the crime scene and details about the masked suspect, the Ballyhoo Bandit.
Kate Schwarz is the arts, culture and leisure coordinator for Unalaska's Department of Parks, Culture and Recreation. She put together the "top secret case file," which includes things like maps, journal entries, and coded messages to keep the little local detectives engaged and active during their spring break this week.
At the start of the project, Schwarz said she collaborated with elementary school teachers on the island — working to come up with some kind of remote programming — as the PCR isn't currently holding in-person events due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Eventually, with the help of her colleagues at the PCR, Schwarz created a video to accompany the case file.
"From the beginning, I wanted to have this introduction video to really set the scene," Schwarz said. "I made the case file, and the project could just be as simple as that and could all be on paper, but I just wanted to add that theatrical element to it."
She hopes the case of the missing Easter Bunny will get kids and families outside this week, while they're out of school.
"There are some special bonus challenges that are included in their case file, things that encourage [the kids] to explore their own community a little bit more," Schwarz said.
Anyone in first through fourth grade can help solve the crime, including homeschool students. Case files can be picked up at the Community Center, and when those have been completed, Schwarz said, EVE detectives should report back to the Community Center with their findings to receive a certificate of completion.
For more information, visit the PCR's Facebook page.