The Potomac Valley Audubon Society is introducing a new program called StoryWalk.
The program is aimed at engaging children in reading while encouraging healthy outdoor activity.
It involves taking pages from carefully chosen books, laminating them to protect them from the weather, and posting them along outdoor routes on selected dates. Families with young children can walk the routes and read the stories, page by page.
The books will all reflect nature themes and they will be geared to children ages 3 to 10.
There is no charge and anyone with an interest can participate.
So far, PVAS has scheduled two StoryWalk events.
The first will be held at the Society's Yankauer Nature Preserve on April 6, as part of the Preserve's annual Wildflower Festival.
From 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. that day, families can stroll the Preserve's Cedar Loop Trail and read a book entitled "Miss Rumphius," by Barbara Cooney. The Book tells the story of a fictional character who help beautify the world by planting lupine flowers in the wild.
The second StoryWalk event will be held in downtown Martinsburg April 27 as part of the Martinsburg Public Library's Book Fair. The book that will be featured there will be "Duck at the Door," by Jackie Urbanovic. Ms. Urbanovic will be at the Library that day, so families will be able to walk and read and then meet the author in person! The specific time and route for this walk will be announced later.
Different StoryWalk events featuring different books will be held each month in the area for the next year. PVAS is working with local libraries to coordinate specific places, dates and times.
The StoryWalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT, and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library. Locally, StoryWalk is being funded by a grant from the Nora Roberts Foundation.