ONLEY, VA — The Eastern Shore Community Service Board’s Prevention Office is pleased to announce that youth on the Eastern Shore of Virginia are now getting fresh air and exercise while they learn. The ESCSB Prevention Office purchased “WalkKit” audio players for youth in the eLearning program at the Eastern Shore YMCA in Onley and elementary age youth at the Eastern Shore Public Library branch in Nassawadox.
Andre Elliott, Executive Director of the Eastern Shore Family YMCA, says the program has been popular with both the staff and the students. “When the students finish their assignments, they will ask to use the WalkKits. It is wonderful to have an extracurricular standards-based program that encourages learning and exercising.”
A local elementary school principal learned about the program and has encouraged her teaching staff to use the program through the Eastern Shore Public Library. The teachers and students are enthusiastic about the podcasts. The ESCSB is hoping to expand its partnership with local schools to reach more youth and educators with The Walking Classroom program.
To encourage families to check out the WalkKits at the library, James Foley of the ESCSB Prevention Office created a Trail Passport for each user. The Trail Passport has a list of all of the podcasts and maps of six walking trails on the Eastern Shore with the distance of each trail and the points the youth accumulates when the trail is completed. There is a Walking & Learning Log in the back of the passport where the youth can keep track of the podcasts they have done trails they have walked, distances they have logged and points they have earned. They can present their passports at the library desk to receive incentives such as earbuds, power packs and selfie lights.