• StoryWalk gets library patrons outdoors

  • Post families exercised their body and minds as they walked by Smith Lake and read a story along the way during the Combined Arms Research Library’s StoryWalk May 3.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Post families exercised their body and minds as they walked by Smith Lake and read a story along the way during the Combined Arms Research Library’s StoryWalk May 3.
    “This is a program I used to run at a (Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation) library in Germany, so I introduced it here at CARL,” said Nora Walker, CARL community technician. “The goal is to offer a family-friendly activity that might inspire a love of reading in a new and interactive way.”
    The event was part of the U.S. Army’s annual Strong B.A.N.D.S. — Strong Balance, Activity, Nutrition, Determination and Strength —program, which is meant to promote healthy, active lifestyles throughout Army communities by motivating soldiers, families, retirees and civilians to get into shape, according to the Army MWR website.
    “We are supporting the initiative by offering an active reading program,” Walker said.
    “The Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister was the featured book.
    “While the story is for a younger audience, it is a classic that older kids might enjoy, too,” Walker said.
    The path started outside the south entrance to the library by the covered walkway near Smith Lake. Parents and children followed the purple arrows along the path, which took them around the Circle of Firsts, the Buffalo Soldier Monument and the Berlin Wall Monument, then followed the green arrows back to the starting point.
    “I like that (the path) did that because you got to see all the different monuments and things that you might not have normally noticed if you were walking along the lake, so I thought it was really cool,” said Mindy Young, who completed the walk with her daughters, 7-year-old Aubrey and 3-year-old Mallory. “(The StoryWalk) was really awesome because the girls can get moving, and keep their body and their mind healthy.”
    Aubrey said she enjoyed the walk and the storybook.
    “I like how the rainbow fish learned to share. That’s what my sister needs to work on,” she said. “I like to read because you can use your imagination. If you’re reading a story about fish, you can make up what the fish is doing and all that stuff in your mind.”
    Aubrey and her mom agreed that it was fun to visit the library.
    “You can read and you can also see other stuff in the library,” Aubrey Young said. “You get to check out books and look at all the different things that you maybe never saw before, and it can also take you to different places that you don’t even have to pay a penny to go to.”
    Page 2 of 2 - “Reading expands their vocabulary and teaches them social cues at the library to stay quiet and study skills, too,” Mindy Young said.
    At the end of the walk, children were given a participation prize provided by FMWR.
    The CARL summer reading program kick-off is at 2 p.m. May 24 at the library. For more information, call (913) 758-3001.
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