Spearheaded by Janelle Thomas, Executive Director of the Swanton Library, the community of Swanton is bringing an exciting and unique concept to the area that combines education, physical exercise and family time for all residents called Story Walks. Created by Anne Furgeson of Montpelier, Vermont, Story Walks can now be found in all 50 states and 11 countries.
The Swanton Story Walk places 20 stands spaced around Pilliod Park which is adjacent to the library, with each stand displaying a part of a story that visitors can read. By the time they are done, the readers have walked around the entire park and read a very entertaining story. The story currently on display is “My Nose, Your Nose” by Melanie Walsh. The stories will be changed for each season with the next one due in early summer.
“I heard about it a couple of years ago and I thought it was a great idea,” said Ms. Thomas. She contacted the newly appointed Village Administrator, Rosanna Hoelzle, and Rosanna enlisted the help of the Village Council to make the idea a reality.
From there it became a community effort. Swanton Welding designed, fabricated and generously donated the 20 stands, Fessenden Hardware numbered each stand and the Village installed all the stands around the park.
To help promote and publicize Story Walk, the library recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony and an Easter Egg Hunt for local families. “We are also trying to promote early literacy. Every time you read something you learn something,” said Ms. Thomas. “The younger you start children reading the more it will continue with them through life.”
Hours for the Story Walk are set by the amount of light available in the park and no library card is required. It definitely makes a walk in the park a lot more fun than it used to be.
© 2017, Bill O’Connell. All rights reserved.