What is a StoryWalk™?
Combining physical activity with literacy may seem like an odd mix, but it’s an innovative way to get people of all ages out walking while reading children’s picture books. Pages of a book are transformed into signs that are then laid out on a trail inviting families, children, caregivers, teachers and others to follow the path of pages.
Our StoryWalk™* pilot was developed using the picture book, Scoot!, by Maine author/illustrator, Cathryn Falwell. Cathryn gave Let’s Go! permission to use her book in this way, and created extra illustrations that demonstrate to children how they can move like the animals featured in the pages of Scoot!. This StoryWalk™ contains 28 pages or signs that can be placed along any path.
Later we added Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee by Maine author/illustrator Chris Van Dusen. Chris gave Let’s Go! permission to use his book in this way. Chris also created extra illustrations that demonstrate to children how they can move like the characters in his book. This StoryWalk™ has 21 pages or signs.
Through a FY10 Community Mini-Grant, Let’s Go! funded the production by WinterKids of a StoryWalk™ of the book Snow Day! by author Patricia Lakin and illustrator Scott Nash. The authors gave WinterKids permission to use their book for this purpose.
Check out this submission from Amy Bevan to Raising Maine on the StoryWalk™ concept…
Where can I use a StoryWalk™?
StoryWalk™ can be set up on playgrounds, walking paths, hiking trails or fields. Our signs are wind proof and water proof and can be placed at different heights for various age levels. You also can use them indoors by propping them up against a wall, or possibly through chair backs. Stakes should not not be removed from StoryWalk™s, as it damages the story boards.
Why a StoryWalk™?
Let’s Go! wanted to offer an activity rich in literacy and healthy movement.
A StoryWalk™ is a great simple way to encourage physical activity and increase reading among youth and families.
How might my organization borrow a StoryWalk™?
For more information on borrowing a Let’s Go! StoryWalk™ to use at your school or event, please contact Yvonne Devlin at 207.396.8570. Please note: pick up and drop off would be at the MaineHealth Learning Resource Center located at 100 Campus Drive, Scarborough, ME 04074.
Interested in Creating Your Own StoryWalk™? Click here for StoryWalk™ FAQs from Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition.
*The StoryWalk™ concept was created by Anne Ferguson and developed in cooperation with the Kellogg Hubbard Library and the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition. FMI contact Anne.