Springdale EAST programs create storywalk

The Springdale Public Schools EAST programs at Helen Tyson Middle School, Southwest Junior High School and Springdale High School, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Springdale Parks and Recreation have partnered to create the first community storywalk in Northwest Arkansas at Murphy Park.

“This permanent addition to the park will house a new book each month, complete with activities and active reading strategies,” said Brittany Berry, Helen Tyson Middle School Education Accelerated by Service and Technology facilitator.

EAST is a learning initiative in which students use technology to serve the community.

“UAMS is proud to partner with the Springdale Public Schools EAST programs. We are always looking for ways to collaborate and keep the community physically active and to create a better state of health,” said Katie McCraney, UAMS project manager. “The storywalk is a great opportunity to get the community engaged at all ages while promoting physical activity.”

Storywalks feature the pages of picture books that are spread throughout a walking trail on wooden stakes so people can read as they walk to create a fun children’s activity while focusing on the text.

The storywalks aren’t just a story and encourage children and adults to remain active, showcase the city’s resources, promote active reading strategies and support partnerships with local organizations.

“Springdale Parks and Recreation has worked with the Springdale Public Schools EAST programs on several projects to help promote and improve the city of Springdale, and we are always excited whenever an opportunity arises to continue our partnership with the EAST programs,” said Vernon Tarver, Springdale Parks and Recreation Events and Marketing Coordinator. “The storywalk will be a great addition, not only to Murphy Park, but for Springdale as a whole.”

Westwood Elementary School third-graders were the first to experience the storywalk May 20 when they took a field trip to Murphy Park.

The story walk was made possible through the support of community partners, to include Springdale Parks and Recreation, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Community Clinic NWA, Signature Bank of Arkansas, Art Feeds, Tyson Foods and Clay Maxey NWA.