Dressed as bees, ladybugs, butterflies, and caterpillars, the “Bugliest Bugs” arrived at Wildwood Park in Puyallup on July 11 as the ribbon was cut to unveil the new Story Walk in the Park.

Welcoming all the “Bugs” was South Hill Rotary President Suzanne Johnston, South Hill Rotarians, and members of the community. Following a short presentation featuring a history of the Story Walk project, newly appointed Puyallup School District Superintendent John Palm cut the ribbon to officially open the new Story Walk.

As they began their walk, the children and families were greeted by members of the Emerald Ridge High School Interact Club. The children received their personal bug antennae and then walked to the first “station” to begin reading the first pages of the children’s book, The Bugliest Bug written by Carol Diggory Shields.

South Hill Rotarians and other volunteers were on hand at each of the 14 “stations” to assist the children in reading each segment of the story and participating in the related activity. After reading, twirling, and jumping their way through the Story Walk, the children and their families were rewarded with packages of “Bug Bites.” Prizes were awarded for the best costume and other awards, and many families left with personal copies of The Bugliest Bug.    

The Wildwood Park Story Walk is one of the projects of the South Hill Rotary Literacy Committee chaired by Trish Cole and Alice Darnton. The Literacy Committee works to support education for all children and literacy for children and adults. The committee is installing “Little Libraries” around the south hill community and provides “Welcome Bags” to first-time moms to support reading in their families.

More than 775 million people in the world over the age of 15 are illiterate – 17 percent of the world’s adult population.