Annette Williams with Chilliwack Learning Society holds up one of the pages of Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming, the story chosen for the downtown StoryWalk event. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Annette Williams with Chilliwack Learning Society holds up one of the pages of Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming, the story chosen for the downtown StoryWalk event. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

StoryWalk transforms Chilliwack trails, sidewalks into outdoor literacy adventures

Families can read children’s stories together, page by page, as they walk story routes

As people stroll downtown or along the Vedder Rotary Trail this weekend they can also make their way through two different children’s storybooks.

It’s all part of StoryWalk, an outdoor literacy event where people read a children’s story spread out page-by-page over a walking distance. The project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT, and thanks to the Chilliwack Learning Society, folks in Chilliwack will be able take part in StoryWalk around Five Corners and along the Vedder River from March 6 to 21.

“When I was a kid, reading was more than just the book, it was about everything that happened in the environment of the book,” said Annette Williams, literacy outreach co-ordinator with Chilliwack Learning Society. “I would read walking to school and I remember seeing the grass pass underneath my feet and feeling the air.”

It combines three critical elements for overall family health: early literacy learning, family engagement outdoors and physical activity, plus it coincides with the City of Chilliwack’s 2021 Reading Challenge from March 1 to 21.

READ MORE: City-wide reading challenge goal for Chilliwack is to create a reading habit

Laminated pages from children’s books are posted in store windows or attached to wooden stakes which are installed along an outdoor path. As people stroll down the trail or sidewalk, they’re directed to the next page in the story.

Annette Williams with Chilliwack Learning Society holds up one of the pages of ‘Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!’ by Candace Fleming, the story chosen for the downtown StoryWalk event. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Annette Williams with Chilliwack Learning Society holds up one of the pages of ‘Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!’ by Candace Fleming, the story chosen for the downtown StoryWalk event. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

There will be one story in each location. Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming will be in the downtown area starting at The Book Man; and Aliens Love Underpants (a book about secret things aliens do on laundry day) by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort will be located along the Vedder Rotary Trail starting at Vedder Park.

Downtown there will be 16 sites where the storybook pages are posted in the windows. Each location will tell the reader where the next page is. On the Rotary Trail, the pages will be affixed to wooden stakes in the ground and people simply continue along the trail to the next page.

There’s even an activity on each laminated sheet, such as finding a character on the page, making an angry face and hopping to the next page.

It involves “the whole body learning experience,” Williams said.

The first StoryWalk actually came to the Chilliwack area in October.

Retired Kindergarten teacher Hilda Bergen wanted to bring StoryWalk to her neighbourhood after getting the idea while out with her granddaughter. The two often ride bikes through Yarrow and along trails.

Last year, many Yarrow residents had signs on their lawns reading “Yarrow together in spirit.” As they rode along seeing the signs, Bergen’s granddaughter wondered why they all read the same thing. The two of them agreed it would be fun to have signs around their bike route which told a story instead.

Bergen’s StoryWalk is located near Yarrow elementary, where she used to teach. It begins at the north end of Wilson Road, past the dike, on the trail and continues east to the train bridge.

People love it, she said, adding that there’s a new story to read every month.

“It’s nice to hear their comments. It’s been very positive.”

Children’s book ‘Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!’ by Candace Fleming is the story that has been chosen for the downtown StoryWalk event. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Children’s book ‘Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!’ by Candace Fleming is the story that has been chosen for the downtown StoryWalk event. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

There’s a StoryWalk in the works through the Yarrow Library as well.

Librarian Wanda Lindsay has been wanting to have one installed near the library for many years. The goal is they will have a permanent one installed at Browne Creek Wetlands by this summer. The permanent fixtures that will house the pages will be wooden and “as natural in the setting as possible” and the story can be changed.

The StoryWalk coming up March 6 to 21 through the Chilliwack Learning Society is geared to people of all ages, Williams said.

“Seniors love it.”

And she’s hoping for feedback, too. People are encouraged to take photos of their StoryWalk journey. At the end of each story, there will be info on how and where to share their images and comments.

For more, go to chilliwacklearning.com.


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Booksliterary

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Emergency crews in Chilliwack were called to a report of a vehicle down an embankment at Chipmunk Creek on April 18, 2021, at about 4 p.m. (Google Maps)
Chilliwack emergency crews respond to vehicle down embankment at Chipmunk Creek

Search and Rescue join other responders to report of person trapped in vehicle for hours

Alisa Gusakova was one of two Grade 12 Chilliwack students who received a $5,000 Horatio Alger Canadian Scholarship earlier this year. Now, a fundraiser has been created for the teen after her mother was killed. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fundraiser launched for daughter of Chilliwack woman killed

Money raised will help Chilliwack teen attend UFV to earn business degree

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

Agassiz Fire Department has been called to an ATV rollover on Harrison East Forest Service Road on Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Google Maps)
Agassiz Fire called out to ATV rollover incident on Harrison FSR

Morning call follows exceptionally busy Saturday as temperatures soar in Fraser Valley

A Chilliwack Search and Rescue truck heads down Vedder Road towards Cultus Lake to assist a dirtbiker with a broken leg. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Emergency crews, SAR busy with three separate outdoor recreation incidents in Chilliwack area

Calls in 1 afternoon include ATV collision, parachuter who fell from tree, dirtbiker with broken leg

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read