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Get Outside and Read!

Thanks to a group of innovative fifth and sixth graders, children and adults of all ages will be able to read a book and enjoy nature at the same time. 

Young Scholars students, along with their teachers, created a StoryWalk® specifically for Lake George! They deconstructed a picture book, mounted each page on a board along with additional facts, laminated the boards to protect them from the elements, chose the location for each board, and helped install the boards all along the Nature Trail at the Elementary School. 

“This was a truly collaborative project,” said Lake George High Potential Teacher Mr. Geoff Bizan. “From the library media center to the classroom, from buildings and grounds to the PTSO, everyone had a hand in this amazing project.”

Lake George Elementary School Librarian Mrs. Bridget Crossman presented the StoryWalk® idea to the Young Scholars in the spring of 2019. She helped the children select the book “Swirl by Swirl” by Joyce Sidman because it has so many connections with our woods. 

Mrs. Crossman helped the students pull details from the book, find online resources for researching topics from the story, and design reader-friendly infographics to supplement each page of the book. 

“We talked about fonts and images that would grab people’s attention,” said Mrs. Crossman. The children worked in small groups, one group per page.

“It was a creative project, and all the students had to agree on the final product,” said Mr. Bizan, who led the children through the nature trail to visualize the StoryWalk®. 

The children planned the StoryWalk® by measuring each of the nature trails and determining which trail would fit best with the elements of the story. They used a GPS tracker to determine how much space to leave between each of the 18 posts on which the book pages are mounted. 

“Lake George Director of Buildings and Grounds Mr. Rick Clothier was instrumental in the project,” said Mr. Bizan. “He and the buildings and grounds crew installed each post seemingly overnight.” 

Mr. Dante Siletti cut the boards to size, and students stayed after school and worked during their lunches to stain the boards.

“This is a tremendous legacy for the students to leave the school,” said Mr. Bizan. Mrs. Crossman and Mr. Bizan plan to change the book in the StoryWalk® every year and continue to improve the engineering of the boards so they will be weather resistant.  

The StoryWalk® Project was originally created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.