Story Walk signs at Gibson Park

A couple of park goers walk along a footpath in Gibson Park, lined with boards featuring pages from the book 'Make Way for Ducklings." Photo by Afiq Hisham. 

CASCADE COUNTY, MONT. - From invaluable life lessons to learning more words, reading gives kids countless benefits. With summer on the way, librarians and students in Great Falls are bringing one book to life in their very own ‘Story Walk.’ 

While families can read pages off boards planted around Gibson Park, they can also listen in thanks to recordings from students going to Whittier Elementary. 

School staff say 16 kids practiced their narration constantly in bringing ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ to life. 

“I’m so proud of these kids, and I know their teachers are proud of them,” said School Librarian Dean Jardee, who helped record their voices. “They’re giving back to the community.”

For them and the Great Falls Public Library (GFPL), this is their way of getting people out and about, exploring what Gibson Park has to offer. 

“Gibson Park of course with the ducks has always just been such an attraction. It’s always a great place to take the kids,” said Katie Richmond, GFPL’s public relations and adult programming library coordinator.    

Whether you read or tune in to each one, GFPL tells Montana Right Now that doing either helps children learn on the move

“Especially when we’re little, there are so many things that tie in between all those little synapses firing in your brain,” said Richmond. “When you tie it all together and incorporate songs and stories and literacy into movement, it really just develops the whole child in a really healthy way.”

You can easily listen to recordings with your smartphone. All you have to do is turn on your camera and point it at the QR code. This will then give you notifications with links to each one. 

“Technology brings a whole new level to the story walk,” said Richmond.

Library staff will keep an eye on every board for the next few days as they invite the public to check them out. 

They’ll be here until at least tuesday, depending on weather conditions and park cleanups in the next week.

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