MT. STERLING, Ky. — An extension agent from the University of Kentucky is working to improve the reading skills in Mount Sterling after scores decreased over the last year.

Combining the outdoors, fitness and reading, she created a unique experience for children to learn.

What You Need To Know

  • The Story Walk is encouraging children to read in Mt. Sterling

  • This project was Sarah Congleton’s master thesis in college 

  • Congleton says this Story Walk came after seeing a decrease in test scores 

  • The walk contains 15 podiums

Pages of a children’s book are strewn across Botts Park. It’s part of what initiative Sarah Congleton created to encourage reading within her community. 

“Books that are very colorful and things and they also use repetitive words to try to help with language development for the preschool aged kiddos,” Congleton said.

The Story Walk came to fruition after Montgomery County’s reading scores fell below average during the pandemic, Congleton said.

“To actually get this installed and implemented and to say families out here walking and reading have been super exciting,” Congleton said.

Throughout the park, there are 15 podiums containing 2 pages from a storybook. 

“The pages are also cut out of a book we purchased. The pages are laminated here to try to keep the weather from damaging them,” Congleton said.

It’s a walk and learning opportunity that’s unique to her community. The Story Walk in Mt. Sterling opened at the end of March, and the community library will replace the current storybook with a new one each month.