Otsego Public Schools, Alamo Elementary and the OPS Foundation were excited to officially open the new StoryWalk at Alamo Elementary. A StoryWalk is a series of stands along a path that lay out a book page by page. “StoryWalks provide an opportunity for students, classes, and families to experience the outdoors together, to get some exercise, and to share the rewards of enjoying a great book,” says Gina Watson, Elementary Literacy Coach.
The Foundation is funding this unique way to enjoy a good book at all three elementary schools; Alamo is the first. The Building Trades students at the Allegan Area Tech Center built the stands and installed them, as well. StoryWalks will be installed at all three elementary schools over the next couple of years.
After the ceremony, Alamo teachers walked their classes through the new feature and they loved this new way to enjoy a story! Not only do they read each page, but there are activity suggestions at some stops and encouragement to stop and reflect on the book. The first book they’re reading is “The Hike". It goes really well with a nature trail and the Alamo school theme of camping. It's also a fun, interactive book that will have kids running, jumping and flapping their arms from one story post to another!
The outdoor StoryWalk is designed to withstand rain, snow, wind, and sun. Experiencing a StoryWalk gives children the opportunity to learn new words, describe things and events, enjoy and tell stories, learn how to follow a story in sequence (physically moving from page to page), and hear and play with sounds and letters in words. Story selection will emphasize learning around our four seasons we all get to experience in Michigan!
The benefits of the StoryWalk project go far beyond a new way to read a book. “There are many proven benefits to nature-based education,” Watson says. “It can boost academic performance as well as support physical, mental and emotional health. Students can expand their knowledge and are invited to connect with nature. And let’s not forget the benefits of getting kids outside and moving!”
With a cut of the ribbon, a new reading feature opened at Alamo Elementary - a StoryWalk
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