Augusta StoryWalk provides place for kids to exercise body and mind


A gaggle from the Metropolis of Augusta College Age Childcare Program pauses Wednesday to learn a framed ebook web page earlier than heading to the subsequent cease alongside the town’s new StoryWalk. The set up options 18 pages of an image ebook staggered alongside a strolling path to encourage children to get train whereas additionally boosting literacy expertise. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — The sounds of youngsters imitating animal noises carried down the size of a path close to Farrington Elementary College. The children have been imitating the noises of animals that they had simply realized about whereas strolling and studying together with the town’s new StoryWalk.

The set up options 18 posts, every with laminated pages of a kids’s ebook mounted to them, staggered alongside a strolling path that runs from the elementary faculty to Cony Road. The concept is youngsters and different path customers will cease at every set up and browse the pages earlier than persevering with on. By the point they’ve walked the size of the path and again, they are going to have learn the entire ebook.

The trail is supposed to advertise literacy in a enjoyable and fascinating means whereas additionally offering bodily exercise within the nice outside — and time with household, mentioned Theresa Violette, president of Augusta Literacy for ME, and an Augusta faculty administrator.

Appropriately chosen for a stroll within the woods, the primary story to be featured is “The Wildlife Tree,” by writer Peter Emery and illustrator Deborah Emery, a Wayne couple. The ebook describes a few of the wildlife that may be present in and round useless bushes, and exhibits how they will nonetheless present shelter and different must woodland creatures corresponding to pink foxes, squirrels, racoons, chickadees, owls, bats and bobcats.

The couple was available to assist open the everlasting StoryWalk this week, together with a big group of youngsters from the town’s childcare packages.

A gaggle from the Metropolis of Augusta College Age Childcare Program walks towards one other framed ebook web page alongside the town’s new StoryWalk on Wednesday. The set up options 18 pages of an image ebook staggered alongside a strolling path to encourage children to get train whereas additionally boosting literacy expertise. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“We’re actually excited to share it with you right now,” Deborah Emery mentioned whereas speaking concerning the ebook earlier than the kids took to the path to learn it. She and Peter Emery famous a few of the animals within the ebook can possible be discovered within the woods alongside the trail. Peter Emery urged the youngsters search for bushes with holes in them, a few of which have been made by woodpeckers, and spoke of the life that may be discovered even in useless bushes within the forest.

“In these so-called useless bushes, we discovered, there was all types of life,” he mentioned. “So long as they’re not going to fall on you, or your home, then go away a number of wildlife bushes there.”

The books shall be modified periodically, so households who stroll the path and browse the ebook can come again another time and browse a unique books, in line with Violette.

Collaborators on the challenge included Augusta Literacy for ME, Literacy Volunteers of Kennebec County, Wholesome Communities of the Capital Space and the town of Augusta’s parks and recreation crew, who put in the posts.

The idea was first developed by Anne Ferguson in Montpellier, Vermont, and there are a number of such trails scattered throughout the area, together with ones in Readfield and Waterville.

Illustrator Deborah Emery, left, and writer Peter Emery play a wildlife sound on a speaker Wednesday as they inform kids about their ebook, “The Wildlife Tree.” The ebook is the primary to be featured alongside the town’s new StoryWalk. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The path the Augusta StoryWalk is on was constructed final 12 months and runs roughly from Farrington Elementary College off Jap Avenue by way of a brief part of woods to Cony Road, the place a sidewalk continues on to the Cony Excessive College and Capital Space Technical Heart campus.

College students on the regional technical highschool helped with the hassle, with constructing and trades college students making the stands below the course of teacher Tom Holzwarth, graphic design college students creating the indicators for the challenge and scholar Courtney Bacon serving to with the design.

To comply with the ebook, walkers ought to learn the pages on the fitting hand facet, flip round on the finish of the path at Cony Road after which learn the pages on the opposite facet of the path on their means again to the place they began.

Nan Bell, coordinator of Wholesome Communities of the Capital Space’s Let’s Go! program, mentioned StoryWalks are nice methods to advertise literacy, bodily exercise and togetherness. Let’s Go seeks to work with faculties, baby care packages and households to encourage youngsters to make wholesome meals selections and be bodily lively to assist stop childhood weight problems.

The final cease on the StoryWalk contains ideas for actions households can do to attach with what was realized within the ebook. For the present ebook, urged actions embrace tenting out in your yard, going for different nature walks, designing a fairy home, going to a park and constructing a birdhouse. And, as the youngsters trying out the path and ebook did Wednesday, you possibly can stroll by way of the woods and hoot like an owl.

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