StoryWalk project to be unveiled

Library patrons and community invited to attend event at Sean Dixon Memorial Park

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The Patchogue-Medford Library is slated to host a ribbon cutting ceremony at Sean Dixon Memorial Park on Aug. 10, in celebration of the StoryWalk® project, which will take place at the park during the month of August and feature the story “Finding Kindness” by Deborah Underwood, according to Michele Cayea, community relations manager for the Patchogue-Medford Library.

StoryWalk® is an internationally practiced event designed to promote early literacy, physical activity and family time in nature, according to Cayea. Pages from the story were put into metal frames and will eventually be secured onto the park's chain-link fence, where people will be able to read from them while walking around the park throughout the month of August.

“It's a fun way to engage with a book and makes literacy interactive in an unexpected way. It is simple to do, thought-provoking, and takes just a few minutes while you are playing at the park,” according to a press release about the ribbon-cutting event.

StoryWalk® used to take place on Main Street, with pages from the stories hung on the windows of local businesses, but this year the library wanted to bring the event into Medford and completely outside.

“We wanted to do an outdoor StoryWalk® in Medford, and Sean Dixon Memorial Park seemed the perfect fit. This beautiful park is wonderfully maintained, is secured by fence all around, and is a popular play spot in our community,” said Cayea. “It boasts fabulous play equipment, picnic tables, a gazebo, a little free library and an open space for free play or a picnic blanket.”

“Finding Kindness” was chosen as the event's featured book because of the book’s message of community, compassion and giving, according to a press release about the event.

“It seemed a perfect fit for a beloved park like this one. The illustrator, Irene Chan, chose diverse and inclusive depictions of children in her soft, friendly illustrations, and the author does a great job showing readers that everyone can find a way to show kindness in small ways every day,” read the release.

Anne Ferguson, the founder of the StoryWalk® project, penned a letter in August 2017 reminiscing about the project and how it grew from one woman's idea to an international event, taking place in all 50 states as well as 13 countries, including Bermuda, Canada, England, Germany, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia and South Korea.

“The idea was quite simple, actually: take the pages from a children’s picture book, attach each one to a stake and line them up along a path for folks to read and enjoy,” she wrote.

Everyone is invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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