The Thompson-Nicola Regional Library (TNRL) celebrated the grand opening of Barriere Library’s permanent StoryWalk® in Fadear Park, next to the library, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, with a small group of TNRL and District of Barriere representatives, sponsors, and community supporters.
StoryWalk® is an outdoor reading experience that supports literacy in a unique environment. The StoryWalk® also promotes physical literacy by placing pages of a picture book in storyboards along the path and includes questions or interactive portions relative to the story. Participants are empowered to unplug, engage and connect with nature and one another.
“This project could not have come at a better time” says library Branch Head Pam Rudd. “Where our connection is restricted due to COVID-19, the StoryWalk® bonds our community with the story.”
The first title showing in the park, One Love by Cedella Marley, is a story about community. Based on Bob Marley’s famous song, the story is about a girl enlisting her friends, family and community to help transform a neighbourhood park for the better.
“Without the generosity of our community partners, this project would have remained a dream” said Rudd, “The community has been overwhelmingly behind this project.”
Sponsors of the TNRL project include Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach Raise A Reader Program through Yellowhead Community Services, the District of Barriere, Visual Signs & Printing, Shyanne Johnson, Barriere Timbermart, Ward Stamer, Scott Kershaw, and Pat Appel.
District of Barriere’s Acting Mayor Donna Kibble said, “The StoryWalk® is a great addition to Fadear Park and it is already being enjoyed by people of all ages. It encourages literacy, and also provides fresh air and an appreciation of Nature.”
Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach Coordinator Jill Hayward commented, “We have been hoping to see a StoryWalk® established in Barriere for awhile now, and we are excited to be able to assist the Barriere Library’s project with dollars raised during our Raise A Reader fundraiser held each year in Barriere. It is super to hear all the positive feedback coming from those who have already followed the StoryWalk® around the park.”
Rudd says the StoryWalk® titles will be rotated out approximately every two months, and she invites patrons to bring forth title suggestions. Donations are also welcome to support ongoing story installations.
“Patrons who take a photo of their walk and tag us on social media with #TNRLStoryWalk have a chance to win a special prize, drawn once per title,” said Rudd.
For more information, visit the StoryWalk® page on the TNRL website (https://www.tnrl.ca) or contact Pam Rudd, Branch Head, Barriere Library.