Combining the magic of reading and Redding’s uniquely scenic natural backdrop, the Mark Twain Library has created enchanting pathways around town, each featuring a different picture book.
“We are thrilled to launch the library’s first StoryWalks®, especially after such a long and isolating year,” said Library Director Beth Dominianni. “We know they will inspire family interest in language and literacy, while encouraging healthy outdoor activity in and around the bucolic woods of Redding.”
StoryWalk® is an innovative way for all ages to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. The idea was created by Anne Ferguson, a chronic disease prevention specialist in Montpelier, VT, in 2007, in conjunction with Rachel Senechal from the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Knowing that physical activity is a key component to good health, her goal was to initiate an activity that would keep families moving. But she found that no matter what the offering, adults would stand separately, talking amongst themselves while the children were engaged in the pastime.
“I knew I wanted to create something where the parents had to be as active as the children,” said Ferguson. “And I wanted my project to be free so financial limits would not interfere with people enjoying it.” The result has grown into a worldwide literary phenomenon: StoryWalks® have sprouted up in parks, at libraries, along forest trails, in seniors’ residences, on Main streets, and in hundreds of outdoor community spaces across the U.S. and 13 countries including, Germany, Canada, England, Bermuda, Russia, Malaysia, Pakistan and South Korea.
Mark Twain Library Children’s Librarians Lisa Cederbaum and Mary Hoskinson-Dean, along with Library Director Beth Dominianni, selected the colorfully charismatic titles and collaborated with the Town of Redding, the Redding Land Trust and Putnam Park to secure fun and easy to navigate locations.
A heartfelt thanks to our anonymous donor for underwriting The Mark Twain Library StoryWalk®. We hope you enjoy this gift of time with your family and friends.
For more information about the StoryWalk® Project, visit https://www.kellogghubbard.org/storywalk. The Mark Twain Library is owned by the Mark Twain Library Association. It was founded in 1908 by Samuel Clemens – Mark Twain himself – one of Redding’s most celebrated residents. Visit www.marktwainlibrary.org, for more information.