Story Walks promote healthy living while increasing literacy among children

Story walks encourage reading, enjoying nature and engaging in a healthy habit, all while having fun.
KWTX News 10 at 10P
Published: Aug. 14, 2022 at 6:18 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The Waco-McLennan County Library is teaming up with the Dewey Center & Park to promote a healthy lifestyle while simultaneously expanding your little one’s literacy skills.

Story walks are a fun, interactive way for the whole family to burn some calories and do a little reading while you’re at it.

A new take on reading to your child, a story walk breaks down books page by page, spreading them out across a two hundred feet stretch of path.

“It is to promote literacy. We are a library, and we want kids to read and develop a love for reading. It’s also to promote healthy activities like walking, exercising, spending time with your family. So, we think it’s a win-win,” said McLennan County Library Director, Essy Day.

The current book, “Say What,” is meant to promote conversation between a parent and their child using topics from the book.

As the story walk progresses, book related talking points are given to promote conversations that are easy enough for any child to understand and respond to.

This installation isn’t a one visit only attraction either.

The library plans to switch out the books seasonally with a themed book to match.

“We want to change them out quarterly depending on the seasons. Wouldn’t that be fun? It’s summertime so we do a summer story. Winter, we do something cold, maybe bears hibernating or something,” said Day.

The library had seen story walks done in other parts of the country and after receiving a grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), Waco’s first story walk came to fruition.

This comes at a time when libraries are seeing daily visitors decrease due to e-books and other modern technology.

With the addition of the story walk, the library hopes it will encourage young learners to explore the library more often.

“I would hope that after kids are done at the storywalk, they come into the library and get books,” said day.

Now, she says the Waco libraries aren’t what they used to be.

They’ve adapted, in hopes of seeing more residents use the public service.

“We always say we’re not your grandma’s library anymore. We want kids to come in and be engaged and have fun and get loud.”

In the future, the story walk will feature live readings from library staff, helping the books to come alive, taking readers deeper into the story.

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