The library program turns reading into a walk in the park


September 27 – HENDERSON – Aiming to promote reading and children’s health, the StoryWalk Project was born in Vermont 14 years ago before expanding to 50 states and over a dozen countries.

On Saturday, the program celebrated its grand local opening at Fox Pond Park in Henderson.

The concept is simple: Pages from a selected children’s book are dissected, laminated, and placed on notice boards along the paths, walkways, or in this case, the Fox Pond Trail Loop. Families can read the story as they go, and get some exercise and fresh air along the way.

“I hope this will bring more visitors to the park to take advantage of this trail for a great reading and outdoor experience in nature,” said Christy Bondy, Associate Director of the Perry Memorial Library. “Libraries are really starting something called physical literacy – so you don’t just sit down to read the book – you are actually moving. We just hope this will be a good opportunity for young and old alike. ‘be together and come here and enjoy a day of reading. “

StoryWalk Adventures in Vance has come to fruition through partnerships between Perry Memorial, Henderson-Vance Recreation and Parks, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the State Library of North Carolina. Grant funds came from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Federal Library Services and Technology Act.

The result is 24 notice boards around the Fox Pond trail that should be changed every month with different children’s books. The library has already purchased around 175 books for the project, and the inaugural projector went to “Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom!” by Kelly Starling Lyons, 2021 Piedmont winner for Durham, Orange and Wake counties.

A native of Pittsburgh and author of 16 nationally recognized children’s books, Lyons gave a presentation on Saturday morning at the library in conjunction with the StoryWalk celebration. The Raleigh resident is dedicated to raising awareness of “the myriad of black voices writing for young readers,” according to her bio on the Piedmont winner’s website.

Perry Memorial Children’s Librarian Amanda Yetter provided a summary of “Zip, Zoom! “- part of the” Ty’s Travels “series from Lyon.

“It’s about using your imagination,” Yetter said, “going out and trying something new, and sometimes you fall or get hurt – but always persevering, just keeping on the journey.

“And it’s for young kids, but it’s also good for all ages. It’s just about trying new things. Sometimes you’re not the best, but you have to fall a few times before. to get really good at something. “

Yetter wrote the additional questions that accompany each page of the story on the screens like, “What color is Ty’s new scooter?” And other items designed to build vocabulary and connect with young readers.

“Anything we can do to get out into the community and reach more people and let them know about the library and just give them more literacy opportunities is great for me,” said Perry Memorial Director Patti McAnally .

Henderson residents Travis Taylor and Angenetta Yancey were in the park on Saturday as the StoryWalk ribbon cutting unfolded. Taylor, the former principal of Eaton-Johnson Middle School, walked with his 5-year-old daughter Lydia along the New Story Trail, and Yancey and his 5-year-old son Sariel joined in. their.

The idea of ​​reading might not be fun for all kids, so Taylor said it makes it a bit more entertaining for kids who see it as a chore.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea and a great initiative to help kids get exposure to reading and make sure they’re healthy as well,” Taylor said. “And it’s a beautiful day to do it.”


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