Online Originals: ‘The StoryWalk’ in Greene County Provides Opportunities for Reading, Physical Activity, and Deeper Conversations
SNOW HILL, NC (WNCT) – The Lenoir and Greene County Children’s Partnership cut the ribbon on Tuesday to celebrate the launch of “The StoryWalk” project.
The group recently received the Ribbon of Hope grant from the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation in the amount of $ 25,000 to fund educational projects. The “The StoryWalk” project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT, and was developed in collaboration with the Kellog-Hubbard Library.
Greene County officials say they saw a need in the community after completing a community needs assessment.
“There was a high obesity rate, there were transportation issues, there was a need for activities and resources for the kids,” said project development coordinator Jennelle Lewis. “We really wanted to tackle some of them and the best way to do that was to build a tale so we could have that physical activity.”
Lenoir County completed a similar community needs assessment and completed its StoryWalk located at Pearson Park in 2018.
The new StoryWalk in Greene County is located at the Greene County Sports Complex in Snow Hill. It circles the central field and ends next to a 1.5 mile walking trail with a treasure hunt.
The organizers and coordinators of the project say that every step, every page of the story, opens up the opportunity for more in-depth conversations between children and their parents about everyday situations.
“It gives a great teaching opportunity, for parents to explain, you know, mom says ‘Has anyone ever hurt your feelings?’ and then the kid starts to open up and talk about it, you know, ‘Has anyone ever bullied you?’ Greene County Parks and Recreation Director Mike Anderson said.
“And all the time they exercise, but it’s not mom and day that say to go out and do something, it’s fun for them and they exercise and don’t not even realize it. They learn to read and don’t even realize it, ”Anderson said.
Project organizers say the stories will be changed every 2-3 months and replaced with a brand new story for families to enjoy.