News & Perspectives

News & Perspectives

Engaging Parents and Children through Stories

Story walk at the Born Learning Trail.

How does your garden grow? Head over to the Born Learning Trail where the Children’s Trust Family Center of Northern Berkshire County, along with partners Northern Berkshire United Way; Mountain One; and Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, have set up a story walk to read Lola Plants a Garden for families who walk along the trail. Lola Plants a Garden will be available for families to enjoy from May 2 to June 3 and a few lucky families who find and scan the QR code will have the opportunity to win a copy of the book!

Story walk event flyer.

Story walks are a creative way for our Family Centers to provide free, kid-friendly experiences for families. The pages of the chosen book are enlarged, laminated, and hung along a trail or walking area. Families can walk along the path, read the book and spend quality time outside together while also getting physical activity.  

The Family Center of Northern Berkshire County creates a new story walk each month, featuring the Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything last October, Fry Bread in November, and Snowy Day in December as part of the Williamstown Holiday Walk in partnership with the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce. Most of the story walks are hung along the Born Learning Trail, but Snowy Day was displayed in town storefronts in the month of December.

The Northern Berkshire Family Center has been creating story walks for families for 15 years. They use the Born Learning Trail because it includes a playground and features several ways parents can engage with their children throughout the trail. 

The collaboration with Northern Berkshire United Way, Mountain One, and Northern Berkshire Community Coalition came from a desire to expand awareness to more families and share the costs of purchasing books, creating the enlarged prints, and acquiring the materials to hang and maintain the book’s pages along the trail. Each story walk includes a QR code that families can scan and enter their information for the chance to win a copy of the book. 

“This is an important model for families to learn that there is no one perfect way to read a book. This kind of experience provides so much value for early readers and their parents to learn about the importance of reading to kids. Reading happens everywhere and it looks different everywhere, the story walk really demonstrates that,” 

said Bethany Prince-Malloy who coordinates the story walk for the Family Center of Northern Berkshire County.

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