Can you walk and read at the same time? This is the question asked by The StoryWalk® Project, and the answer is an emphatic yes. Now Overton Park is home to one of these special installations, which encourage kids to read while being active.
The quarter-mile trail that surrounds the East Parkway Playground is lined with wooden posts, each one containing a page from Mem Fox’s book “Whoever You Are.” Kids will have to walk the trail in order to finish the story. This installation of StoryWalk was spearheaded by Eagle Scout candidate John Robert Leake, with assistance from the Memphis Public Library and Information Center.
An official dedication ceremony will be held soon (update: ceremony has moved from Saturday, May 18 due to rain). Mayor AC Wharton will give remarks, and John Robert and his Scoutmaster will talk about what inspired the project. The Boy Scouts will also bring a Color Guard for the festivities. Anyone is welcome to come and enjoy this new park feature!
Now that the posts are installed, the story will be changed occasionally to provide a new experience for frequent visitors to the playground. And coming soon, a Little Free Library built by Midtown Cub Scout Pack 13 will be added to East Parkway, along with another Little Free Library at Rainbow Lake Playground, built by Evergreen Historic District Association. Books for both libraries will be provided by Books From Birth.
So if it’s been a while since you’ve sat under a tree and enjoyed a good book (or if you’ve never walked through the park while reading), you’ve officially run out of excuses!
The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library. It has been adapted for use in Memphis with their kind permission.