Ozarks Kids Combine Outdoors with Reading

SPRINGFIELD, Mo– Almost every parent would love a new idea that could get their kids reading more.
Add to that, a chance for them to exercise and read at the same time, it’s a winning combination.
The Springfield-Greene County Library is sponsoring StoryWalks that will accomplish that.  
The StoryWalks idea has been replicated across the country and it encourages reading aloud with your children and interacting with the outdoors.
Nancee Dahms-Stinson, Youth Services Coordinator for the library district tells KOLR10 the theme for the story walks is exercise your mind while you read. 
“We thought it  would be the absolute perfect combination of exercise your mind, exercise your body.”
Dahms-Stinson said the community has already shown an overwhelming response.
“We pretty much run out of flyers about it. People are excited. There excited to have one more reason to get out and do something.”
Debra Salmans, the mother of three, tells KOLR10, “All kids love to be outside so this is a perfect connection between reading and being outside. Getting to exercise and just enjoy being in the outdoors.”
Salmans said it’s important to expose her kids to reading at an early age and socialize in an education setting with other kids. 
“It’s just good to let your kids be exposed to words in print as early as possible and it’s good for them too be able to socialize with other kids while they’re reading.”
The library believes it’s a way to engage families and start conversations. 
“Not just about all the nature that’s around them, but about the books that they’re reading so that incorporating all kinds of learning and exercise,” said Dahms-Stinson. 
Organizers say when children are using multiple parts of their bodies and senses at the same time a lot of learning takes place and that learning is cemented. 
“It’s  enjoyable. It’s not like the kids know that they’re learning is happening. It’s important for the parents to know it’s happening, but all the kids care about is there having fun with their parents and that’s what we want.”
Fun together, that’s also educational.
Dahms-Stinson tells KOLR10 they already have an agreement from the Fair Grove City Park to have a StoryWalk launched sometime in the fall. 
Here is where each StoryWalk will launch this summer and remain for a month, so families can visit often:
Friday, June 10, 9:30 a.m.., Ash Grove City Park, co-sponsored the city of Ash Grove.
Friday, June 17, 9:30 a.m.., Springfield Conservation Nature Center, Savannah Trail, co-sponsored by the Springfield Conservation Nature Center.
Friday, July 15, 11:45 a.m.., Jordan Valley Park-Jordan Creek Greenway, co-sponsored by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board & Springfield Regional Arts Council
Click Here For more information about additional Summer Reading Programs offered at the Library.

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