NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The city of New Haven’s parks are a great gathering place for summer fun, but some are also sites of fitness and reading challenges, thanks to the New Haven Public Schools.

“It just started off with, ‘Let’s all get together, take a walk, start to move,'” Gemma Josephy Lumpkin, the chief of youth, family and community engagement said. “And now we’ve really turned it into an opportunity for learning. We talk about the parks, but we also put books out there.”       

Helping people get ready for the walk is mActivity Health and Fitness and instructor Latoya Armstrong.

“Because it’s just a walk, it’s low impact, easy on your joints,” Armstrong said. “You work at your own pace by the way.”

After a brief tutorial, participants are off to the races. Each one soaked up the Vitamin D and worked together to build a healthy heart and mind.

Literacy is also the name of the game.

“I think it’s super important to get students and our children outside,” parent Bill Scott said. “Get them moving. Anytime you can tie in literacy with that, it’s hugely important.”

Scott noted that just because it’s summertime, “learning doesn’t take a vacation.”

New Haven Public Schools and mActivity are holding two more events this month:

  • July 19 from 10 a.m. to noon: Edgerton Park, meeting at the entrance, 75 Cliff St.
  • July 28 from 10 a.m. to noon: Farmington Canal Greenway, meeting at Bassett Street Entrance, 213 Bassett St.

The first 25 students to register for each walk will receive a water bottle from mActivity Health and Fitness. Online registration can be completed here.