New book on the Storybook Trail unveiled Wednesday

John Thompson • Updated May 15, 2019 at 7:59 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The second edition of the Storybook Trail is out, with a story on healthy vegetables just in time for children to learn it is time to put vegetable seeds in the ground so they can enjoy fresh vegetables a few months from now. The Storybook Trail is a section of the Tweetsie Trail that runs by Harold McCormick Elementary School near downtown.

The Storybook Trail was planned last year by Grow Carter County as a way for families to enjoy a walk together on the Tweetsie Trail while their children could practice their reading skills with a complete storybook displayed on panels alongside the trail. The children could read the story to their parents and the entire family could get some exercise walking to the various panels to continue the story.

Grow Carter County is a Healthier Tennessee Communities Initiative begun by the Governor's Foundation for Health and Wellness. It is a volunteer group that works to improve physical activity and nutrition among county residents, as well as supporting tobacco cessation.

Grow Carter County its new book on the Storybook Trail on Wednesday. At noon, a group of Harold McCormick kindergarten students were led down the trail by Dr. Michelle Hackett, a registered dietician and Harold McCormick mother. She led them in reading “The Vegetables We Eat,” by Gail Gibbons and published by Holiday House Publishing.

Hackett entertained the children not only with the reading but with her vivid descriptions of various vegetables and how they make a child’s body healthy and strong. Between the stations, she had the children exercise by doing different movements, such as skipping and jumping.

Several grownups joined the procession to celebrate the book and the beautiful spring weather.

One of the adults was City Paulson, a Grow Carter County member and director of marketing and communications at Ballad Health. He said the event fit perfectly with Ballad’s mission of promoting a healthy and fit community. Grow Carter County is a Healthier Tennessee Bronze Designated Community. And plans to use the Storybook Trail to feature various aspects of health and wellness. The first book presented on the trail promoted movement and the new book promotes healthy eating.

“We are excited to use this book to also promote the 32 community gardens Grow Carter County supports,” said Bernadette Weese, a Grow Carter County member.

The children enjoyed the story and the trail. It was conducted at lunch time, and they seemed to be ready to enjoy a meal of fresh vegetables.