PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee—(Nov. 10, 2021)—Physical activity, early childhood literacy, and children’s picture books combine forces to create Pigeon Forge’s first StoryWalk® at Wear Farm City Park (623 Wears Valley Road).
StoryWalk® is free and featured on the park’s half-mile walking trail which surrounds two playgrounds. Each story book is told through 17 plaques, each carefully placed at a child’s level for ease of visibility and to encourage interaction. The displays include a physical activity that guide families through the featured story.
Pigeon Forge city leaders and Pigeon Forge Public Library officials were on hand Wednesday, Nov. 10, to unveil StoryWalk®’s first interactive book—Bear Snores On, written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. Bear Snores On tells the story of a hibernating bear who sleeps while several smaller animals gather for a party in his warm cave.
“The Covid-19 pandemic prompted families to seek outdoor activities, and StoryWalk® encourages the continuation of this healthy habit by engaging folks in the great outdoors while also promoting early childhood literacy in our community,” said Marcia Nelson, Pigeon Forge Public Library director. “Research tells us that reading to children from birth until the age of three is critical for proper brain function development, so pairing children’s books in an outdoor setting is an ideal way for our library to serve families, both local and visiting.”
A new book will be featured each quarter to be enjoyed by families. Pigeon Forge Children’s Librarian Cynthia Green will lead the book selection process.
StoryWalk® is a collaboration between the Pigeon Forge Public Library and the city’s Parks and Recreation department. The not-for-profit Friends of Pigeon Forge Library also contributed to the project.
The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.
The Pigeon Forge Public Library hosted 22,175 annual visitors (June 2020- June 2021). In that same year, the library accounted for 24,213 adult library cardholders and 5,497 cardholders under the age of 14. In addition to almost 30,000 printed materials, the library offers e-books as well as audio and video downloadable content. Adult, teen and children’s programming is offered year-round as well as live virtual programming.
Media contact: Trish McGee at [email protected]