Good turnout for Story Time in the Park kickoff

Over 400 people participated in the first week of literacy events

The first week of July welcomed the return of Story Time in the Park as it hosted its first week of events in Agassiz, Boston Bar and Hope.

Over 400 people attended throughout the week listening to a story, enjoying a snack and participating in activities designed to target early childhood development.

“This year we are going back to the roots of the program goals and including hands-on activities for the kids that encourage developmental growth and promote healthy lifestyles,” said Jodi McBride, executive director of Read Right Society.

Story Time in the Park is a barrier-free literacy program that provides supports to families to increase literacy rates and reduce childhood vulnerability.

“We want kids to be engaged and stretched out of their comfort zone in ways they are exposed to social interaction, physical activities, and games that build their interpersonal skills around language and emotions,” McBride said.  “These are all areas that help prepare children for kindergarten and beyond.”

Story Time in the Park began in 2003, when local resident Heather Stewin recognized the need for literacy supports amongst school aged children, and came up with the idea for Story Time in the Park.

“Sixty-seven people attended the first Story Time in the Park in 2003, and because of Heather’s innovation and hard work, today we have a large program that about 500 residents look forward to each year,” said McBride.

Story Time in the Park has also partnered with Hope and Area Healthy Communities’ 5-2-1-0 Initiative that promotes five fruits and veggies a day, two or less hours of screen time a day, one hour of physical activity and zero sugar drinks.

“Story Time in the Park intends to develop well-rounded families and communities. This [5-2-1-0] is another way we can encourage healthy habits at a young age,” said Mikaila Morawski, Story Time in the Park facilitator.

Story Time in the Park includes a free book for each family, a healthy snack and activities for all ages. The program rotates through Fraser-Cascade communities as follows: Mondays, Boston Bar Family Place; Tuesdays, Hope Memorial Park; Wednesdays, Agassiz Centennial Park (July) and Harrison Spirit Square (August).

A bus is provided to bring families from Chawathil and Silver Creek to and from Story Time in the Park in Hope. The bus route begins at 10 a.m. and stops at the Chawathil band office, Peter’s Road and Ross Road.

For more information, contact McBride or Morawski at 604-860-0510 or storytimeinthepark@hotmail.com