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A walk in the park with literacy


Can a walk in the park with a child help increase the little one’s literacy skills? The answer is yes, when the park features a StoryWalk. Cumberland County will soon have its second StoryWalk that you and the children in your life can enjoy.

The Cumberland County Public Library will open the community’s second StoryWalk at Lake Rim Park, 2214 Tar Kiln Drive, at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The public is invited to join the celebration at the grand opening, which will include balloon animals, games and giveaways.

The free literacy- and health-focused amenity encourages children, caregivers and teachers to experience the joys of reading, exercising and exploring together. StoryWalk readers will explore a little more than a mile as they navigate the pages of a picture book displayed at reading stations along a walking trail, accessible during park hours.

The reading stations are updated throughout the year, and they also feature early literacy tips, movement exercises and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities.

The first picture book that readers will experience at Lake Rim Park is Carol Diggory Shields’ “The Bugliest Bug,” a clever combination of fun and fact that features a contest to see who will win the title of “bugliest bug.” Shields’ delightful verse, with Scott Nash’s vivid illustrations, brings the contest to life, helping spark curiosity and lay the foundation for compare-and-contrast skills.

Clark Park, 631 Sherman Drive, is the location of the first StoryWalk in the county. Both Clark Park and Lake Rim Park are operated by Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks & Recreation. There are many StoryWalks across the country.

The original StoryWalk project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and Kellogg Hubbard Library. The StoryWalk here is a community project led by Cumberland County Public Library and funded by a Bright Ideas Grant from the State Library of North Carolina. The Cumberland County Public Library has partnered with the state library, Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks & Recreation, Partnership for Children of Cumberland County, and Friends of the Cumberland County Public Library to bring this experience to residents.

For information about the wide range of library services available to Cumberland County residents, stop by any of our eight locations, call 910-483-7727 or visit cumberlandcountync.gov/library. You can also follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/CumberlandCountyPublicLibrary and Instagram @ccplnc.

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Marissa Mace is adult programming librarian at the Cumberland County Public Library.

Cumberland County, public library, StoryWalk, reading