Allegan Tech Center students recently completed the construction of a StoryWalk at Otsego Public Schools’ Alamo Elementary. A StoryWalk is a movement and literacy boosting project that places an illustrated children’s book, taken apart and displayed page by page, along a walking route. StoryWalks provide an opportunity for students, classes, and families to experience the outdoors together, to get some exercise, and to share the rewards of enjoying a great book.
Students from the Building Trades and Welding programs built 16 StoryWalk units in their shop classroom and installed them. The Welding students fabricated and welded the framework and hinges. The Building Trades students cut and assembled the post and backing for the story pages and mounted the framework. The structures consist of a 4x4 post, a plywood mount, and some cork material for the story page, with a hinged Plexiglass and metal door to cover it from weather.
“There are many proven benefits to nature-based education,” said Gina Watson, Otsego Elementary Literacy Coach. “Research shows that it can boost academic performance as well as support physical, mental, and emotional health. Students can expand their knowledge and are invited to connect with nature. The outdoor StoryWalk was designed to withstand rain, snow, wind, and sun. Story selection will emphasize learning around our four seasons we all get to experience in Michigan!”
The Alamo StoryWalk was funded by the support of the Otsego Public School Foundation. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place in September 2023.