Attraction gets kids exercising, reading and enjoying fresh air

A unique literacy initiative was highlighted this weekend in Sudbury.

Reading Town Sudbury Ville Lecture Festival, in partnership with the Greater Sudbury Public Library and Rainbow Routes, launched the newest Tales on Trails story.

The attraction aims to get kids exercising, reading and enjoying fresh air.

Pages of the story 'Have You Seen Big Foot's New Socks?' Are laid out along the Hillfield Trail across from Fielding Park in Lively.

Dr. Yannick Charette is the author of the Sock Burglar series.

"It started in 2017. I had the idea of creating a story about sock burglars because our socks were always gone missing," Charette said.

"At the same time also as a family doctor, I wanted to encourage literacy. So my kids wanted me to Loup something on paper and it started like that."

The books are illustrated by Sudbury artist Monique Legault. She said you might even see Big Foot along the Hillfield trail.

"To be part of this initiative is so wonderful," Legault said.

"While we were setting up out here today, there was a young child following us and you could hear the excitement in his voice. To see that action that's what we do it for."

Officials with Reading Town Festival said Tales on Trails is all about making reading fun.

"The idea is really to look at fun ways to get families out reading, enjoying nature, exploring the outdoors," said Derek Young of the Reading Town Festival.

"And it really focuses on our mandate, which is to promote early childhood and family literacy because if we do get readers at a young age, there is a really good chance they are (going to be) lifelong readers and learners."

Young said it's also about getting young people away from screens.

"We have heard some very unique horror stories where kids aren't picking up books anymore and they just swipe left, swipe left," he said.

"So when everyone is engaging with technology and tablets, it's good some days just to kind of put that away and pick up a book."

Partners in the literacy initiative said by the end of May, there will be seven different stories on area trails.