Storywalks around the Elk Valley. (Contributed by CBAL)

Summer stories around town returns to the Elk Valley

Contributed by Chrisy Hill

Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy

With summer break finally here, Storywalks will soon be popping up in the Elk Valley. Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) and l’Association Francophone des Rocheuses du Sud (AFRoS) are teaming up once again to put on Summer Stories Around Town (SSAT). This is the second year the outdoor reading program will run in Fernie and Sparwood, and thanks to the Elkford Early Years and Elkford Public Library the initiative is expanding to Elkford for the first time.

A Storywalk is a fun and engaging way to combine literacy and physical activity. Each page of a story will be posted separately and spread out in a public park or on a walking path. This gives anyone in the community the chance to enjoy a family-friendly book outdoors while practicing safe social distancing. And with AFRoS on board, SSAT is once again bilingual – with all of the stories posted in English and French.

“This is such an awesome way to get outside with your family and get reading!” says Sparwood Early Years Coordinator Nicole Obre. “With many of us sticking close to home, having another low-key summer, it’s a very safe and inclusive summer activity.”

Starting July 7th, SSAT will kick off in Fernie, Sparwood, and Elkford. Every two weeks, a new Storywalk will be posted in a new location. As an added bonus, each book will also have a corresponding craft or activity available for free. These Take and Make packages will be available on a first come first serve basis and can be picked up from the undercover carport next to the CBAL office, A1-402 Highway 3, and at the Sparwood and Elkford public libraries.

There will also be an opportunity to win a copy of each of the books featured in SSAT in all three communities. QR codes will be posted at the beginning of every Storywalk. Anyone can scan the code on a mobile phone and be entered into the draw. In Fernie keep an eye out for the Fernie Heritage Library Book Bike. It will be at the Storywalk Friday afternoons with books in English and in French.

Some of the stories featured in this year’s SSAT include Stolen Words, Aliens Love Underpants, Hair Love, and The Paperbag Princess. While these are all beautifully illustrated children’s books, the program is built to be enjoyed by residents and visitors to the Elk Valley of all ages. There will be four Storywalks posted in each community over July and August, with the last story starting August 18th.

CommunityEducation