The summer program, started seven years ago, en courages families to read and complete a variety of activi ties around York County. The York County libraries and the Get Outdoors York Task Force of the Healthy York County Coalition work togeth er each year to provide the summer program.
This year’s theme, “Dig Into Reading and Go And Dig It Up,” teaches participants about the benefits of eating local fruits and vegetables and provides some easy-to- make recipes. Families can enjoy letterboxing at a variety of parks, attend library activi ties, and cook healthy recipes together.
For the “Dig Into Read ing” part of the program, par ticipants record the number of minutes they’ve read. When they have read at least 800 minutes, they can visit the local library to collect prizes.
For the GO York portion of the program, 30 “plots” (wooden marker posts) have been placed in parks and along trails throughout the county. Participants try to find the plots using clues pro vided in their “Gardener’s Journal,” then transfer the etching onto the rubbing sheet of their journal using a crayon or pencil.
The free, 60-page booklet contains recipes, book recom mendations and a letterbox ing rubbing sheet.
Kevin Alvarnaz, director of community health at Well Span, finds these activities beneficial for everyone. “It is great to connect healthy eating and activities to fight obesity.” His team wants to find a way to address child hood obesity.
“The advantage is going outside with my family and exercising,” said Tori Shear er of York, who has been par ticipating with Get Outdoors for 4 years. She saves every booklet as a memory keep sake.
According to Shearer, hiking and letterboxing has been a tradition in the family.
At least 11,152 booklets were distributed last year, with 1,283 rubbing sheets re turned to the libraries. Alvar naz said 14,970 miles of walking by participants also were logged last year. One participant found 30 plots and walked 19.65 miles.
The goal this year is to have at least 12,000 books dis tributed with an increase of 15 percent return on rubbing sheets.
It is not too late to join in the fun and pick up a booklet. The program ends Aug. 18.
FOR MORE INFORMATION on letterboxing, visit
TO JOIN in the activities, visit www.goyork.org or call your local library for a copy.
IF YOU GET LOST during your hike, join and ask the active Facebook group Get Outdoors York (GO York).
· PRIZES awarded (while supplies last) for read ing for 800 minutes include:
· A ticket for the Chick- fil-A ice-cream party on
· A chance to win two Regal Cinema tickets.
· Admission to Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire on Aug. 17 or 20.