COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Grandview Heights Library, along with Grandview Heights Parks and Recreation Department, have created a “StoryWalk” for the community at the C. Ray Buck Park.
“StoryWalk is a unique way to promote literacy and exercise,” said Eileen McNeil, Patron Services Director at the Grandview Heights Public Library. “Sharing a story and being outdoors is a great way to learn new things together. It’s perfect for all ages.”
Susan Calcatera and her granddaughter, Nora, go to the park frequently and love everything about this new installation.
“One day we were taking a walk. It was a beautiful day and we happened to walk up the path and it said number three so I was like, ‘Okay, is this around the whole park or just here?'” Calcatera said. “So, then we went over there and saw number two and I was like, ‘Nora, this is a story about a bear and his friends. So, we walked around the whole thing and it was great. It was just lovely.”
The project is funded by the Grandview Heights Public Library Foundation and Northwest Kiwanis. People can take a stroll around the park and visit the reading stations placed along the pathway.
“StoryWalk also includes early literacy tips,” McNeil said. “Discuss things you learn in the book and things you see along the trail. This helps to strengthen a child’s early learning skills, which is essential to their development.”
Each station is a page in the book along with pictures and questions to engage kids in conversation.
“It’s wonderful,” Calcatera said. “I mean we read books all the time but to come out on a beautiful day and just see something like this and talk about it. We can’t wait for the next one to come out.”
New stories will be installed every couple of weeks in the summer. Stories will change every six weeks or so during the colder months.
“It’s a great way for us to reach out to the community,” McNeil said. “We had seen other libraries implement StoryWalks and thought Buck Park in Grandview Heights would be ideal for this. We also talked with staff from the state park system about how they manage their outdoor educational displays . . . The feedback has already been overwhelming positive.”