child reading

CHANGE initiative brings story walk to MM Scott Community

It’s time to hit the sidewalk and start reading! The CHANGE initiative, in collaboration with the Augusta Housing Authority, Golden Block Legends and Augusta University’s Literacy Center, is bringing a new way to get outside and have fun to the MM Scott Community.

“We talked to the residents and decided on something that we can do together to improve some type of access to a healthy lifestyle behavior. At MM Scott, they decided they wanted to do something outside, including physical activity for both younger and older residents,” said Marlo Vernon, PhD, assistant professor with the Georgia Cancer Center and the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and lead principal investigating of the CHANGE initiative.

Vernon’s CHANGE initiative (Cancer Health Awareness through screeNing and Education) is an initiative that works mainly with the Augusta Housing Authority to minimize racial inequities and raise awareness through education and community participation. So far, the CHANGE initiative has provided fresh produce to the Peabody Apartment Complex and an exercise program to Ervin Towers.

man wearing sunglasses sits in a chair and uses a tension rubber band to exercise his arms
Community members of Ervin Towers take part in an exercise program created through the CHANGE initiative. [Georgia Cancer Center]

“A story walk is storyboards spread out across an area so readers can read a page of a story and walk to the next one. It combines physical activity and reading, two very important areas,” said Betsy VanDeusen, PhD, the AU Literacy Center director.

The first story walk featured pages from the first issue of the Golden Blocks Legend series. The series follows two characters from present-day Augusta as they travel back in time and met Augusta legends, such as Lucy Craft Laney.

READ MORE: CHANGE initiative aims to reduce risk of cancer in Augusta

“Our hope is that children will take pride in their community and try to make their community better,” said Juan Walker, PhD, associate professor and program coordinator at the College of Education and Human Development.

Each week there will be new storyboards displayed around the MM Scott neighborhood for residents to read. They will feature pages from the Golden Block Legends and other books that Vernon and the AU Literacy Center have selected.

To learn about the other CHANGE initiatives, check out the GCC’s YouTube.

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Written by
Lindsey Morris

Lindsey Morris is the Communication Specialist at Georgia Cancer Center. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic at 706-721-9173 or

View all articles
Written by Lindsey Morris

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

graphic that says download jag mobile with icon buttons below that say download on app store and download on google play with a picture of a phone