A stroll in the park is now not merely a matter of exercise — it can also be an opportunity to improve literacy.
Through the program “Reading Without Limits” — launched by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools’s Parent University, Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate and other organizations in November — a few parks and communities in the area now have brightly illustrated children’s books adorning the sidewalks.
Pages of the books are separated and spread onto several upright posts to form a “story walk,” so parents can read with their children as they walk along the path. Each child who finishes the walk and submits his or her information at the end will receive the story book in either English or Spanish for free at the end of the month.
The story walks are present in the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association, South Estes and Hargraves Community Centers in Chapel Hill, as well as at the Henry Anderson Park in Carrboro.
Carla Smith, the parent engagement specialist at Parent University, said she was inspired to start this program after attending an international parent’s education conference.