STORYWALK(R) AND SCAVENGER HUNT

RINGTOWN AREA LIBRARY, PENNSYLVANIA

How has this library supported healthy living?
During the COVID-19 stay-at-home order in Pennsylvania, the Ringtown Area Library started monthly scavenger hunts around the community, relating to a children’s story when possible (green sheep for Mem Fox’s Where is the Green Sheep? and strawberries for Don Wood’s The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear.) The library began offering StoryWalk(R) programming during summer 2020, and in September 2020 unveiled the 4th StoryWalk(R) of the year at a local farm’s pumpkin patch, choosing Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas.

What impacts have you seen this work have?
The scavenger hunts and StoryWalk(R) both provided no-contact, fun activities that got families moving and kept them engaged with the library white it was temporarily closed and/or after reopening but with limited services and capacity. In addition to encouraging families to get out for a walk, these outreach efforts brought awareness of our library to many people who rarely or never utilize traditional library services. The library also believes that these activities led to an increase in monetary donations to the library this year.

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Lessons learned: Don’t be afraid to think outside of the library! Lots can be done using outdoor spaces to engage communities in healthy living programming.

Combine stories and literacy with outdoor programming. Weave stories into public space and you promote the library, promote reading, and also promote fun, active engagement in the outdoors!

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