SNOW HILL, N.C. (WNCT) — On Tuesday, The Partnership for Children of Lenoir and Greene Counties held a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the grand opening of “The StoryWalk” project.
The group was recently awarded the Ribbon of Hope Grant from the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation in the amount of $25,000 to go towards educational projects. “The StoryWalk” Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT, and was developed in collaboration with the Kellog-Hubbard Library.
Greene County officials say they saw a need in the community after completing a community needs assessment.
“There was a high obesity rate, there were transportation issues, there was a need for activities and resources for children,” said Project Development Coordinator Jennelle Lewis. “We really wanted to tackle some of those and the best way to do that was to build a storywalk so that we can have that physical activity.”
Lenoir County did a similar community needs assessment, and they completed their StoryWalk located at Pearson Park in 2018.
The new StoryWalk in Greene County is located at the Greene County Sports Complex in Snow Hill. It wraps around the center field and ends next to a mile and a half walking nature trail with a scavenger hunt.
Organizers and coordinators of the project say each stop, each page of the story, opens up an opportunity for deeper conversations between kids and their parents about everyday situations.
“It gives a great opportunity for teaching, for the parents to explain you know, mom says ‘Has anyone ever hurt your feelings?’ and then the kid starts to open up and talk about it, you know, ‘Has anyone ever bullied you?’,” said Greene County Parks and Rec Director Mike Anderson.
“And the whole time they are exercising, but it’s not mom and day saying go outside and do something, it’s fun for them and they’re exercising and don’t even realize it. They’re learning to read and don’t even realize it,” Anderson said.
Organizers of the project say the stories will be changed out every 2-3 months and replaced with a brand-new story for families to enjoy.