Families turn out for Story Walk

Combining books, families, art and a local children’s author was a winning strategy for the Prince Albert Literacy Council and its Story Walk, the kickoff to Family Literacy Week.

The featured book ‘When the Trees Crackle with Cold: A Cree Calendar’ was written by Northern Sask. author Bernice Johnson-Laxdal and art by Miriam Körner

“It is wonderful to be able to engage with a local author and we were actually able to suggest the book. What was nice about it is it was able to be expanded and used across the province,” said Kara Thorpe,  Family Literacy Co-ordinator at Prince Albert Literacy Network.

Seven different hubs each received 150 copies of the book to give away.

“It’s a really neat experience to be able to take some of our northern experienced friends and have that spread across the south,” said Thorpe.

Pages from the book were enlarged and place on easels so families could read them together.

“Families get to come an read an enlarged version of a book. When they’re done they get to hang out at the Family Resource Centre,” said Thorpe.

The walk started off with a visit at Thorpe’s table in Gateway Mall then toured other stops.

The Mann Art Gallery participated as well, running a colouring contest for children. Young artists got a page from a recent edition of the Prince Albert Daily Herald to fill with their own unique artwork.

Six year old Reed likes to read so he spent his birthday at Gateway Mall taking in the Story Walk along with his mom, Lauren and grandparents Mark and Pattie (to the right) and Jim and Lillian (left).

“The whole idea of family literacy is that literacy occurs at all moments in the day. It’s expanding past the idea of a book, so having things like science, art, and being able to talk about art and use the colours, are great ways to expand children’s learning,” said Thorpe.

Families come and go at their own pace, spread themselves out, stay in groups and are generally COVID safe.

That was certainly the case for Reed, who opted to spend his sixth birthday at the Story Walk, with his mom, Lauren and both sets of grandparents.

“He loves books,” said Lauren of Reed’s decision.

Donna Hordyski, marketing co-ordinator for Gateway Mall, said it is important that events like the Story Walk happen.

“It gives an opportunity for the children to come out and families to come out and experience things they haven’t experienced before such as the poster contest,” she said.  “Do a Story Walk, do some activities and see some things that are unique.”

“We will take whatever chance we can so the children of Prince Albert have an opportunity to learn and experience growth and play.”

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