StoryWalk program encourages children to walk and read

July 9, 2017 by  

StoryWalk is a program created in Montpelier that has since popped up in all 50 states, and Bethlehem is the latest city to join in this initiative creating locations throughout the city.

The program creates storybooks mounted on poster boards likely obtained from a local print company. The boards are placed throughout the trails encouraging children to walk, or maybe even run a little, to get to the next page.

One of the stories, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, is placed at the Bethlehem Area Public Library. Children can work their way down the trail from the library to the garden. Most children enjoy the opportunity to be active while reading, as opposed to sitting still and patiently listening to someone read.

The program, which cost about $3,500, includes four other trails spread throughout the city, each with a different book. The project was funded by St. Luke’s University Health Network, the library, and funds from a state grant. The other locations include Elmwood Park, Sand Island, the Rose Garden, and the Greenway.

The books are rotated every other week and the program will run for 10 weeks, so each location will have one of the five books available for reading.

Children participating in the program will receive a tracking card, which will be stamped when they complete the trail. At the end of the summer, if a child has read all five books, they will receive a free book.