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Posted on: July 29, 2019

New interactive installation at Glyndon Park puts kids on path to early literacy

            

With financial support from Rotary, the Town of Vienna has partnered with the Patrick Henry Library and a local Eagle Scout candidate to create a StoryWalk at Glyndon Park, 300 Glyndon Street NE. This initiative combines an appreciation for the outdoors with a fun way to promote exercise and early literacy skills.

The StoryWalk Project, originally created in 2007 by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, sets pages of a picture book along a path.

Six-year-old Isabella Harrington, whose mom and dad work in the Town’s parks and recreation department, “loved” Vienna’s StoryBook Project “so much.” Her favorite part, she says, was when she read a page, and then it told her to do an activity to the next post. “I can’t wait to go back and do it again,” she says.

Early this year, the Patrick Henry Library reached out to the Town with an idea to create a StoryWalk. The Town selected Glyndon Park with its existing trail as an ideal location for the project. The Town also connected with David Nichols, a 16-year-old Eagle Scout candidate with Troop 1539, who was interested in taking on a project that would improve a local park.

For his Eagle Scout project, Nichols, a rising junior at James Madison High School, built the 20 frames and platforms used in Vienna’s StoryWalk. He used a 3D computer-modeling program to design the prototype.

“I have a new outlook on how things end up getting done,” says Nichols. “There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes. It’s really a lot of work. I never thought about these Eagle Scout projects as part social event or the behind-the-scenes work that takes 231 hours to complete. I never realized how connections with other people can help you with these things. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the people who helped me.”

Vienna’s initial StoryWalk book and the one that currently zig zags along the asphalt trail at Glyndon Park, from the baseball field toward Beulah Road, is Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson.

“I’ve loved this book for a long time,” says Alicia Rocconi, youth services manager at the Patrick Henry Library. “It has simple text and is interactive, already promoting activity.” Signage at the bottom of each platform provides directions and additional interactive prompts, such as fluttering like falling leaves and stomping your feet like apples falling from a tree.

The library plans to change out the StoryWalk books on a quarterly basis. Next up for September is Bark, George by Jules Feiffer.


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