Miss Vermont, Katie Levasseur, reads "The Lorax" to school children on the state house lawn.
Miss Vermont, Katie Levasseur, reads "The Lorax" to school children on the state house lawn. The event, held on May 4, was planned in honor of Arbor Day. "The Lorax" in StoryWalk® format will reappear this summer at a Vermont state park. The StoryWalk® Project promotes the development of physical fitness and literacy skills by creating opportunities to walk and read outdoors.
“Weezer Changes the World”
(Photo courtesy of Sally Armstrong)
Fiona Rollins enjoys the StoryWalk® book “Weezer Changes the World” which was posted in Montpelier. To date, the StoryWalk® Project, which simultaneously promotes literacy and physical fitness, has spread to at least 69 towns within Vermont and 38 states outside Vermont. In addition, it has appeared in Canada and Bermuda. StoryWalk® creator and VBPC volunteer Anne Ferguson (
) frequently presents at conferences for librarians, environmental educators, and staffers of park and recreation departments. The Kellogg-Hubbard Library partners with the VBPC in spreading the word about this wonderful initiative.
New York State Recreation and Park Society 70th Annual Conference
Rachel Senechal from the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier and Anne Ferguson, creator of The StoryWalk Project, recently presented the program at the New York State Recreation and Park Society 70th Annual Conference. The StoryWalk Project received the “exceptional program” award.
(Photo courtesy of Rachel Senechal)
StoryWalk™ Makes a Splash!
StoryWalk®, an exciting initiative that combines a children’s story with a popular walking route, was developed in September, 2007 by Anne Ferguson, a volunteer with the Coalition. Ferguson selects a children’s book, separates the pages, laminates them, and attaches them to wooden stakes. She then drives the stakes into the ground at regular intervals along paths so readers can follow the story as they walk the route. Ferguson conceived of StoryWalk® as a way to inspire parents, teachers, and caregivers to take young children on a short stroll that will be fun for all. StoryWalk® helps build children’s interest in reading while encouraging healthy outdoor activity for both adults and children. Reviews from the first installations of StoryWalk® were extremely enthusiastic. StoryWalk® debuted in Montpelier and both Ferguson and the Coalition are watching the initiative spread throughout Vermont and beyond. Over 69 Vermont communities have installed a StoryWalk® or are considering it. StoryWalk® has appeared at the Burlington Book Festival, the Vermont Library Association Conference, the Vermont Governor’s Conference on Recreation, New Hampshire's Children in Nature Conference, Greater Baltimore Children and Nature Conference, and the Northern new England Recreation and Parks Conference. Articles about StoryWalk® were featured in the Appalachian Mountain Club’s magazine, Disney Family Fun Magazine, and the National Recreation and Parks Magazine. Windham, Maine is the first out-of-state location to host a StoryWalk® and it has since been initiated in more than 38 other states. The Coalition successfully applied for grants in support of the development of the StoryWalk® project. StoryWalk® aligns perfectly with the No Child Left Inside philosophy that stresses the vital importance of reconnecting children with the natural world. All are welcome to visit a StoryWalk® and the experience is free. Visitors are encouraged to share the joy of reading and record their responses in the comment book located at the end of the route. If you would like StoryWalk® to come to your community, please contact the Coalition. All StoryWalk® book postings display the following statement: The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.