Posted Date: 01/20/2021
Several community partners have joined forces to offer families an innovative, active, educational, and COVID-safe opportunity. A new StoryWalk display has been installed by the City of Arkansas City at the Poplar Walking Trail in Arkansas City and runs along the first quarter-mile of the trail.
The new display is a joint effort between the Ark City Public Library, the City’s Public Services Department, USD 470 Early Literacy Initiative, and RISE Cowley. Each entity has contributed time and funding to help make the StoryWalk available to community residents. The StoryWalk display stands were custom designed and built by local company Cardinal Sign.
“A StoryWalk is a fun, educational activity that places pieces of a children’s story along a popular walking route in the community,” said Lindsay Wilke, USD 470 Early Literacy Coordinator. “It is a unique way for children and adults to enjoy the outdoors, reading and being active together.”
The StoryWalk will open mid-February — National Library Lovers Month. The Ark City Public Library will maintain the StoryWalk, and the stories will be changed out every two months. The community partners hope that anyone who interacts with children — childcare professionals, grandparents, babysitters, parents, and others — will consider stopping by the StoryWalk to check it out.
The StoryWalk is a part of a larger effort funded by the Kansas Health Foundation to increase literacy in children ages 0 through third grade within the community. The Kansas Health Foundation is a philanthropy dedicated to improving the health of all Kansans. For more information about the Kansas Health Foundation, visit www.kansashealth.org. Caregivers interested in additional literacy development resources can visit usd470.com/earlyliteracy to learn about other opportunities.
The StoryWalk installation at Poplar Walking Trail is a part of a broader City plan that includes efforts to enhance trail features, including safe lighting and fitness stations along the trail. Further planning for parks and trails will occur later this year with broad community input as part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan update process.