Jessica Mathews /

3,805 children across Livingston County read a book this summer at different reading trails.

The Livingston County United Way brings together a group of women who work to help the community “Grow Great Kids!” Women United was formed in 2019 and over the last few years has focused on building Reading Trails for children in the community.

Each reading trail is made up of enlarged story pages and illustrations set into a series of weatherproof signs along with mini activity instructions for kids to enjoy as they move from page to page. Once the children complete the walk, they will have read an entire book and learned some new facts.

This summer, one new permanent trail was added. Permanent trail locations include Settler’s Park in Hartland featuring Buzzy the Bumblebee, Fowlerville Community Park featuring Grady the Goose, and the Genoa Township Hall Walking Trail featuring Stranger in the Woods.

The trails are installed the first week of May and then removed by the end of September. Over the 22 weeks, each trail averaged 25 children a week – which officials say means 1,650 children read a story this summer.

The group has also created four storyboards for a moveable trail. Starting in April, they took the moveable trail to ten events throughout the county and had 2,155 children read at one of the events.

The Permanent Reading Trails are sponsored by Hartland Insurance Agency, Katie Pikkarainen State Farm Insurance and Bank of Ann Arbor.