Abbotsford Christian Elementary School recently held a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the opening of its StoryWalk project. (Submitted photo)

Abbotsford Christian Elementary School recently held a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the opening of its StoryWalk project. (Submitted photo)

Abbotsford school offers outdoor walk with picture book along the way

StoryWalk project at Abbotsford Christian Elementary celebrates literacy for all ages

Abbotsford Christian Elementary School is participating in a program that invites children and adults to enjoy stories outdoors.

StoryWalk involves the pages of a picture book being separated and each page being placed in a Plexiglas structure around the walking path. Each page is distanced about 30 metres apart.

Teacher-librarian Linda Groot said she and colleague Kerry Schwenneker have wanted to do the project for awhile.

“We felt that, with the pandemic and all the restrictions that go along with it, a StoryWalk would give students, families and our neighbours a fun, safe, and healthy way to enjoy literacy,” Groot said.

She said a StoryWalk gives people an opportunity to soak up the sun and get some fresh air while enjoying a story.

“It expands the library footprint without significant cost, and it celebrates literacy for all ages. It is a new way to encourage our neighbours to come over for a visit.”

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Groot said the project is also a great example of “project-based learning.” For example, students wrote thank you notes to the builders and several helped with the installation of the reading stations, and students created flyers to invite neighbours and friends to the StoryWalk.

As well, every month a different grade level at Abbotsford Christian School will read and vote on the story of the month, and a team of students will assist with the monthly story swaps.

The reading stations were designed, built, and installed by three grandfathers of Abbotsford Christian School. Kevin Bot, son of Grandpa Bot, and his company Alliance Scientific donated the Plexiglas.

The StoryWalk project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.