Give Smart Blog

Story Walks and early childhood literacy, making learning and movement fun and accessible

One priority for grantmaking at Arkansas Community Foundation is early literacy. The Foundation makes a wide array of grants to support programming to improve literacy throughout the state, including Story Walks!

A Story Walk is an interactive and outdoor activity that combines reading and walking. It typically involves displaying the pages of a children’s book along a designated path or trail in a park, garden, or community space. The story is divided into segments, with each page or spread placed on a sign or display board at regular intervals along the route.

Participants can follow the path and read the story as they walk from one page to the next. The text and illustrations are usually placed at a child’s eye level to make it accessible and engaging for young readers. Story Walks are often designed to promote literacy, physical activity, and outdoor exploration.

As individuals or families follow the Story Walk, they can enjoy the story at their own pace, discussing the plot and characters, and interacting with the environment around them. It offers a unique and interactive way to encourage reading, engage children in nature, and foster a love for books and storytelling.

In 2022 the Community Foundation provided grant funding to the community of Horatio, Arkansas. A new Story Walk in the rural town was just one of the innovative solutions used to help improve childhood development and literacy for local children and families.

Read about the full scope of work happening in Horatio to promote early childhood development.

In Little Rock, the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center received grant funding from the Foundation to repair and update their Story Walk. The story on display rotates monthly and has included literature focused on health, wellness, and fitness. 

You can learn more about how the children’s library leveraged the Story Walk to boost community engagement and safety for the local area