Story Walk along Cedar Bay trail promotes literacy, getting outdoors
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
As part of their Family Literacy Week, Sacred Heart School offered its students and community members an opportunity to go for a Story Walk along the Cedar Bay trail last week. The Story Walk will remain open until after the Family Day long weekend.
Sacred Heart School teacher Manuela Michelizzi said, “For our students, getting out of the school is definitely something that promotes heath and wellness. Getting them outdoors in the fresh air and having that physical activity as well is very important to us. Again, families are also looking for things to do, where you can easily be physically distanced from others and that’s something that can happen on this Story Walk. Because the story is very spaced out, you can apply the physical distancing regulations and still have fun and be outdoors with your family.”
Due to extremely cold temperatures in the last week of January, the walk was postponed to begin February 1. Chair of the Friends of Cedar Bay, Bobbi Roberts said, “Stories help shape the way we see the world, its people and our own place within it. Through stories, I think people can find a connection to something bigger and even though we are very distanced, stories remind us that we are not alone. When you see things from the perspective of a character, it builds empathy and adds richness to life. So what a great way to share a story in these times where we are all feeling so separate.”
Michelizzi shared that the story they used was Fishing With Grandma, a story about two Inuit children and their beloved grandmother. She added that the story is very well written, with lovely illustrations. Michelizzi said that each page of the book was laminated and attached onto bright blue bristle board paper, attached to the trees going along the trail. The book pages were put up in numerical order, in a crisscross manner on either sides of the trail. She said, “It’s just a great story and a lovely family event if you want to get out there.”
Sacred Heart School often turns to Cedar Bay for its various learning opportunities, and scheduled times for the students to attend the event during the day. Michelizzi said that they made the schedule keeping the cohort regulations in mind; to ensure the physical distancing measures were also being followed. Michelizzi credited the Sioux Lookout Public Library, who conducted a Story Walk in the past, as the inspiration for the school’s Story Walk. She said, “We wanted to do that on a smaller scale, and instead of going around town, we just used the trail.”
Roberts said, “I see people doing a great job at staying physically distanced at Cedar Bay, but it takes its toll. You can feel the gap in-between. It feels very far. That is why we would love to hear more ideas from the community about how we can add a bit of connection or fun for our community at Cedar Bay while we stay distanced. We will help however we can.” Ideas can be shared on Friends of Cedar Bay’s Facebook page or by email at [email protected].