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North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation Provides $25,000 to Ashe County Public Library through Ribbon of Hope Grant, Builds 3 New “Story Walks”

The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation has provided $25,000 to Friends of the Ashe County Public Library for the Appalachian Regional Library through its Ribbon of Hope grant. Grant funds will be used to construct three Story Walks, one in each county of the regional public library system: Ashe, Watauga and Wilkes.

A Story Walk is a deconstructed storybook mounted on a series of posts along an outside path. The colorful story entices children to walk along the path, and they or their caregivers read the story aloud as they follow from storyboard to storyboard. Activity and literacy tips are included on the picture boards and parents can enrich the reading experience by asking questions, challenging the child to do something like skip or hop to the next picture board, or stopping to closely examine the page to find a particular object. Story Walks can be described as self-service story times.

The Watauga County Public Library is partnering with Watauga County to locate a new Story Walk at the Tot Lot in Boone (231 Complex Drive). The grand opening for this Story Walk will be on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 11:30 a.m., with the featured book Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric Kimmel. Snacks will be provided and children can create their own spider under the pavilion. In case of inclement weather, the grand opening event will be at the Watauga County Public Library, 140 Queen Street, Boone.

All three Story Walks should be ready for public viewing by mid-October. More details about the grand openings of each of the Story Walks will be released soon. Keep an eye on the library’s website: http://www.arlibrary.org

Like many nonprofits and public libraries across the state, the libraries of the Appalachian Regional Library are providing outstanding services, but are struggling with limited resources to meet the needs of their local communities as their own budgets are squeezed. Ribbon of Hope grants are intended to offer such organizations a one-time opportunity to expand or enhance an existing program or provide seed funds for a new initiative. The regional library received a federally-funded LSTA grant in 2014-2015 to put up its first Story Walks, the popularity of which led the library to seek additional funding to put up more. The Ribbon of Hope grant will make more Story Walks possible.

The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation is an independent self-funding 501(c)3 nonprofit organization supporting activities that help meet the educational and health needs of today’s society and future generations. For decades, the Foundation has been a proud supporter of programs in our state that help advance science, health and education. Since its establishment in 1986, it has awarded $68.9 million in grants over 30 years, paying approximately $3 million in grants each year to North Carolina nonprofit organizations.

The Appalachian Regional Library is an inter-local governmental agency formed to provide public library services to Ashe, Watauga and Wilkes Counties. Its funding comes primarily from county appropriations and State Aid to Public Libraries, along with generous support from its Friends and endowments.