StoryWalk™ Gets Kids Outside.
I learned at a very early age to never utter the words, “There’s nothing to do” in the company of my parents.
Even now, I shudder at the response.
“There’s a sink full of dishes to do,” or “Ok, let’s go weed the garden.”
Boredom was a luxury I could not afford if I had any hope of steering clear of random chores. If I wanted to fly under my parents’ work radar, I knew I had to entertain myself. I needed to do something fun with the added benefit of keeping me out of sight, out of mind, and out of earshot most of the time. Exploring the outdoors was the thing.
My parents weren’t task masters. They were happy that I wanted to go outside. I think that was their diabolical plan all along. I was not the kid who sat on the couch reading all weekend. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, I just didn’t have the attention span to read more than a few paragraphs at a time. I had to be moving. Too bad we didn’t have StoryWalk™ back then.
WHAT IS STORYWALK™?
Combine outdoor fun with reading and you have my attention. StoryWalk™ is a self-guided walk on a trail with pages from a children’s book posted along the path. An entire book can be read on the trail from start to finish. You don’t need any special equipment, and the family dog is welcome too – with accompanying mutt mitt, of course.
The local program was launched in 2015 with temporary locations around Bonner County. In December of 2016, the first permanent StoryWalk™ location, funded by City of Dover and a grant from the Land Trust Alliance, was established at Dover City Park. Permanent story kiosks were built and installed by local carpenters using locally sourced wood products. Another permanent location was recently added at McNearny Park in Ponderay, behind Panhandle Animal Shelter. Future permanent StoryWalk™ locations will be announced in the coming months.
The children’s stories are updated regularly and posted to all three partners’ websites. Suzanne Davis, Children’s Services Librarian at the East Bonner County Library District selects books that will enhance the StoryWalk™ experience.
The next time your kids are restless, take advantage of the opportunity for some together-time, reading fun and physical activity. StoryWalk™ is a great alternative to chores. Just ask your kids.
Marcy Timblin, Public Relations Specialist