All around the country, including here in North Carolina, children are experiencing adventure through the seemingly simple act of taking a walk.
This is the aim of StoryWalk, which provides innovative and delightful ways for children (and adults) to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. StoryWalk installs laminated signs along pathways and greenspaces; as they walk the path, travelers are directed to the next page in the story.
According to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library website, “StoryWalks engage young readers and is a great way to practice Active Reading skills with special activities highlighted along the story.” CML installed several locations in 2018.
This month, Chapel Hill Public Library will install StoryWalks along three greenways. Each installation will feature a different culturally diverse, nature-themed picture book.
Project Manager and Library Manager of Youth and Family Experiences, Karin Michel, says that titles were selected with language access in mind, too. ‘Some of the books youâ€™ll see on these StoryWalks are written in world languages like Spanish, Mandarin, and Burmese. We hope that community members will see these books as both mirrors and windows to the world of all readers we have in Chapel Hill.’
The StoryWalk Project was created in 2007 by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg Hubbard Library. Anne, a chronic disease prevention specialist, wanted to initiate an activity that would keep families active and engaged. StoryWalks have grown in popularity, popping up in parks, at libraries, and in hundreds of outdoor community spaces.
More details on StoryWalk can be found at http://www.kellogghubbard.org/storywalk.