Reading a book with a child is about to take on a whole new meaning in South Dundas.
Beginning this week, youngsters and their parents will be able to head down to the waterfront in the villages of Morrisburg and Iroquois to read together a new book. And they’ll be doing it as they walk along the waterfront paths in the two communities.
“I saw The StoryWalk® Project on the Web and I thought, what a great idea,” says Fiona Carr, Family Resource Coordinator for the Ontario Early Years Centre. “When I saw it, I thought of course we are going to do that in South Dundas. So I pitched it to Ben, (Macpherson, Recreation Program Coordinator for South Dundas).”
The StoryWalk® Project, developed in 2007 by Anne Ferguson of Vermont, promotes physical fitness and literacy skills by creating opportunities to walk and read outdoors.
A child’s book is selected, the pages are separated, then laminated and attached to posts which are driven into the ground at regular intervals along the path.
With the two beautiful waterfront paths in Morrisburg, between the dock and the beach, and in Iroquois, between the beach and the marina, it is a perfect fit.
“So families can go to the dock, park their car and walk along the path where we have the posts with the story pages,” says Carr. “By the time they are finished the walk, they are finished the book.”
“It’s brilliant and even the library is on board. Ben did up all the wooden posts, and I did all the books and the laminating.”
The kick off for the StoryWalk® launch was yesterday, November 20 which is also National Child Day.
Carr says she has selected two different books for the two communities in the hopes that perhaps families will take in both locations.
She is also looking to expanding it to include the Two Creeks Forest area north of Highway 2 where the book selection will be geared to older children, with a longer story to accommodate the longer trail. “That will be our winter walk, which I hope to put out before the first snow.”
It is expected that the two riverfront StoryWalks® will be left in place for several weeks. At the Morrisburg Dock starting point, and the Iroquois Beach starting point a red bag will be suspended at the first pole.
Carr is asking that those who take in the walk will sign in, on the books enclosed in the red bags, and perhaps comment on the concept.
“That way we will an idea of numbers and whether or not there is enough interest to continue.”