Wednesday, August 10, 2022

READING BETWEEN THE TREES

Rotary clubs throughout District 5020 have been helping to support Storywalks®  in outdoor areas.  This promotes basic literacy as well as environmental and physical literacies. Throughout COVID, it’s been a gift, allowing family engagement as children read, play, and enjoy the natural environment while safely distancing from their peers.   

Rotary clubs in the Comox Valley support the Comox Valley Lifelong Learning Centre, which has developed a different version of the Storywalks®.  Peter Bazovský, Executive Director of the centre, embarked on a Storywalks® program throughout the spring and summer that was portable and relatively inexpensive.  Pages from children’s books were laminated onto chloroplast backing. Each page of the story was then placed on a metal stand alongside forest paths or the borders of playgrounds with minimal disturbance to the surrounding environment.      

Families were encouraged to visit at any time of day or dusk, maintain social distance and enjoy a story while getting exercise.  Stories were placed in different sites and swapped monthly, allowing for a variety of locations and plotlines.  The sites were monitored twice weekly for damage and to ensure the stories remained readable despite weathering.   In recognition of the traditional territories, special care was taken to select texts that were written by First Nations authors and were respectful of natural diversity.
To learn more about this modified version of the Storywalks®  program, please visit https://www.cvllc.ca/story-walk or contact their office at info@cvllc.ca. 

Anita Wotschel
Anita Wotschel
Rotary International District 5020 Literacy Chair
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