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PEGGY SAVAGE - Molalla Public Library Director Diana Hadley, Mackenzie Bangs (OSU Extension Intern), Dr. Olesya Salathe  of NW Dental and her two children, author Megan Cline, the book's illustrator, Brie Riley, Emily Ho from Moore Family Center – funder for the StoryWalk, and Molalla Public Works Director Jennifer Cline cut the ribbon Thursday for Molalla's new StoryWalk. What’s a StoryWalk?


Well, lots of Molalla families and community members found out on Thursday, as the first ribbon cutting event for StoryWalk was held at the Molalla Public Library.

A StoryWalk is a literature and art installation, with the pages of a children’s book separated out along a route so that families may walk and read together.

This spring and summer, the Molalla StoryWalk will premiere in six locations, with the first ribbon cutting ceremony taking place last Thursday at the Molalla Public Library.

Erin Devlin, of OSU’s GROW Healthy Kids and Communities, is a familiar figure in Molalla wherever activities concerning healthy living take place. Devlin helped set up the StoryWalk program in Molalla and served as MC for the first ribbon cutting event.

“It was exciting to see so many partners come together to develop the Molalla StoryWalk for children and families in our community, and to see all the people who attended the event,” Devlin said. “It shows a real appreciation for local art and literature, as well as the importance of early child literacy and the values of healthy living.”

Thursday’s event coincided with the 115th anniversary of the Molalla Public Library.

The community is invited to join the OSU Moore Family Center, GROW Healthy Kids and Communities, the city of Molalla, the Molalla Public Library, the Molalla River School District, the Molalla Area Chamber of Commerce, and many local businesses for future ribbon cutting events on May 29, June 11, June 17, July 23 and July 25. After the ceremonies, the stories will remain as an attraction in public spaces, supporting early literacy and family activity time.

KAREN GRAVES - Beret Halverson from  OSU Extension and Onika and Landon, Molalla Elementary School students in Mrs. Deardorff's class, unveil one of the stations on the Molalla StoryWalk. The authorthen read a page. There are six standards along the way, each featuring two opened pages.The stories included in the Molalla StoryWalk all feature themes of healthy living, and were created by local authors and illustrators: L. Lee Shaw, Heather Nelson, Megan Cline, Brie Riley, Karen Graves, Kristy Stephens, Audrey Andrews, and Nikita Seledkov.

Many of the authors and illustrators were present at the kick-off ribbon cutting event at the library Thursday.

They were on hand for attendees to meet, and signed copies of a book that includes all six stories that will be for sale to support the future of the StoryWalk.

For Thursday’s event, the standards holding the story at each station were veiled by a sheet of cloth, and as the group approached the standard, the kids would unveil the opened book. Then the author would read a page in English and another person read a page in Spanish. There are six standards along the way, each featuring two opened pages.

More fun activities for kids will be featured at each event through July, including face painting, seed planting, riding the blender bike, grinding grain in the hand mill, photo opportunities, and local celebrity visits. And the authors and illustrators will be at the future events as well.

The stories will rotate annually between various Molalla locations. The locations include City parks, school grounds, and local businesses. Maps will be available at the Molalla Public Library and the Chamber of Commerce, as well as at the participating schools. High school students of the Oregon Outreach Institute (OOI) participated in mapping routes with a team from GROW Healthy Kids and Communities. The locations highlight opportunities for physical activity in the community for families and places that support healthy lifestyles.

Research shows that kids that are physically active have more active minds, and that they perform better in reading, spelling, and math tests, Devlin said. After just 20 minutes of physical activity, students are also more likely to read above their grade level. Adults benefit from physical activity as well, supporting the health of the heart, lungs and bones. Children should be moderately to vigorously active for at least 60 minutes each day, and adults for at least 30 minutes daily.

Events and updates will be posted on the Let’s Move Molalla Facebook page.

For more information, contact Erin Devlin with OSU Extension’s GROW Healthy Kids and Communities project at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 971-998-4697.

PEGGY SAVAGE - Erin Devlin, with OSU Extension's GROW Healthy Kids and Communities, (in aqua shirt) opens the ribbon cutting ceremony at the library while a crowd of kids, families, authors and community partners begins to form.

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