The Times West Virginian

September 21, 2013

Story Walk Festival moved inside

Designed to promote reading for children

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Today’s Story Walk Festival has been relocated.

Kristin Cunningham, an instructor at the Marion County Adult and Community Education Center, said due to the weather forecast, the center decided to move the location of the festival.

“It has changed because of the rain,” she said.

Cunningham said the event is going to be held at the Marion County Adult and Community Education Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Not even the rain is going to stop the center from promoting reading for children. Cunningham said the event is to get children from ages 2 to 10 involved with reading.

“It’s a celebration of literature,” she said.  “We try to get kids to develop a positive attitude toward reading — ages 2 to 10 are going to enjoy the festival more, but we’ll take all ages.”

At the Story Walk Festival, Cunningham said local businesses and organizations do read-a-louds for the children as well as activities to get them excited about reading.

“They do an activity as an extension to the book that they’re reading to them,” she said.

Cunningham said every year the festival has grown.

“We have more vendors that participate; we have more patrons that come out to take part in the festival,” she said.

This year’s author is Debra Benedetti. Cunningham said one of the reason she was chosen as a special guest is because she’s a local author. Benedetti’s book “Season of Play” won the Mom’s Choice Award.

“She’s a native of West Virginia,” Cunningham said. “She is a staff member at Fairmont State University and our center partners with Pierpont with some classes that we do, and we wanted to get someone who was connected to our community and our center here.”

Cunningham said the festival allows children to have fun while reading.

“It’s a great way for children to develop a positive attitude towards reading,” she said. “And reading is such an important aspect to their education.”

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.