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Story Walks receive boost

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Jul. 10 | Modified: Jul. 15
Story Walks receive boost

Voracious reader Gracie Collis will be one of countless area children who will benefit from a grant that will enhance the library’s downtown Story Walk.

Photo submitted

A children’s reading program in Watauga County is about to receive some help in continuing its literacy- and family-based initiatives.

The Appalachian Regional Library has been awarded a $41,000 grant to be used for Story Walks, Story Books and Story Readers.

These reading programs serve children ages 4 to 8 and their families in Watauga, Wilkes and Ashe counties.

The grant will fund Story Walks throughout the region, providing self-directed and fun reading opportunities for young children at outside locations away from the library.

The concept for Story Walk was first created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vt., and suggested by a library patron who relayed the message to Lisa Flanigan at the Watauga library.

The Story Walk concept works by displaying a page or multiple pages of a children’s story book in the storefronts of downtown merchants. Families then read the story little by little, as they navigate their way through downtown.

“I immediately became excited about the potential of a downtown Story Walk,” said Virginia Falck, the town’s downtown coordinator in a previous interview. “After an initial discussion about the project, we realized that it would be an excellent partnership with the library and DBDA. We saw an opportunity to provide a fun and educational activity for local families and visitors to downtown Boone. When we approached downtown businesses about the Story Walk, the participating downtown merchants were excited and happy to offer up their window spaces for the projects.”

Locations for the Story Walks in Watauga County will include Blowing Rock’s Memorial Park and the Boone Tot Lot. Children’s picture books, easy readers for beginning readers and non-fiction books for young readers will be included in the array of books featured in the Story Walks. Story Walks will be up by September, to be changed monthly.

Children who come into the library as a result of the Story Walk will be invited to get a library card if they don’t have one and will be invited to a special story time, which will provide a chance to win a copy of that month’s Story Walk book, according to a library news release.

In addition to Story Walk, the funds will also be used to purchase Kindle Fires, which will be loaded with children’s books.

For more information, contact Virginia Falck at (828) 262-4532 or the Watauga County Public Library at (828) 264-8784.

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