First Story Walk Opens In Johnston County

SMITHFIELD – The first Story Walk in Johnston County is now open to the public at the Partnership for Children Park located at 600 M. Durwood Stephenson Highway in Smithfield.

The Story Walk concept began in 2007 with Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont. A specialist in chronic disease prevention, Ferguson was looking for fun ways to get families outside and moving. She came up with the idea of separating out the pages of a children’s book and posting them along a local nature trail.

Putting Story Walks around Johnston County is a labor of love for Heather Machia, Early Literacy Coordinator at the Partnership for Children of Johnston County. “Story walks are of the utmost importance right now to ground children in the routines of Early Literacy,” says Mrs. Machia. “Families get outside and get moving while reading, which combines physical exercise with family conversations about the book that you are reading together.”

The first book featured at the Story Walk is Different but Special, written by Johnston County native Owen Daughtry. “Owen has Cerebral Palsy and has been instrumental with the Partnership for Children Park since it’s inception,” says Machia. “It was only fitting that his book be the first.”

Funding for this Story Walk and the others that will be going in around the county was made possible by generous donors at the Partnership for Children annual benefit fundraiser that was held in March.

The Partnership for Children of Johnston County is a non-profit organization that has worked for 23 years to improve the safety, health and emotional well-being of young children by enhancing the quality of childcare and supporting strong families.

Together we will improve the economic sustainability of Johnston County, ensuring that its future workforce is prepared for success in school and life. Find out more about the programs and services offered by the Partnership for Children, by calling (919)202-0002 or follow us on social media @PFCJoCo.