Addition to local playgroud giving kids learning lesson while incorporating more play in their day

By  | 

GRAFTON, W.Va. (WDTV) -- Preschoolers in Taylor County went on their first field trip of the year Thursday to Castle Creek Playground in Grafton's Fetterman Park.

The Born Learning trail was installed at Grafton's Fetterman Park to encourage parents and caregivers to get their kids outside for a fun and educational play day.

Little did they know, they weren't just there to go down the slide or get some air on the swingset.

They were there to learn, even if they didn't realize it.

It all happened at North Central West Virginia's second Born Learning trail.

Backed by the United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties, community leaders cut the ribbon on the trail Thursday, officially opening it for business.

The only other trail like this currently in the region is in Morgantown.

The United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties recently received a grant from the Bowers Family Charitable Trust to install three of these trials. The one in Grafton is the first for the organization that just officially expanded into Taylor County in July.

A walk down this path is an adventure in reading, storytelling, and exploring.

"This is why we do what we do," said Julie Dowdy, the owner and director of Little Feet Preschool. "These kids love to play, they love to learn. Just watching them enjoy this moment and being part of the ceremony has been wonderful."

It's meant for parents and caregivers to essentially give kids a learning lesson in disguise. It encourages them to incorporate more play in their day.

Emily Swain is the community impact director for the United Way of Marion and Taylor Counties.

"They're the future," Swain said. "It's so important to remember that every day they're learning. They learn so much through play. Having something like this warms my heart."

Grafton Mayor Peggy Barney said the trail is a great addition to Castle Creek Playground.

"This is just putting the icing on the cake for the playground," Barney said. "They are learning while they're having fun and they don't realize that they're doing work."

As future kids make the treck to their playground, their brains will get put to work right along with their feet.

"Just to see their gears turning as they're learning and having fun is really exciting," Swain said.