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~ Kansas City, MO- The pandemic may have brought many challenges, but it also sparked a creative partnership between the Library, Kansas City Parks and Recreation, and the Kansas City Health Department. This collaboration resulted in the Tales on the Trail program, which allowed walkers to read children's books on panels along the trails at Gillham Park and Budd Park.

The program's success exceeded expectations and prompted the Library to secure funding for a more permanent format. As a result, two new Book Walks were unveiled on May 9th at Gillham Park, located at 3915 Gillham Road. Attendees were treated to ice cream and had the opportunity to meet local author and illustrator Charlie Mylie. They also participated in nature journaling activities with Missouri State Parks.

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The first Book Walk features Mylie's book "We Might See" presented in 18 panels starting from the northeast side of the playground. Each page not only includes the story and illustrations but also prompts to encourage young readers and their companions to discuss the content.

According to Early Learning Librarian Kate Tammeus, "We hope this will be a great opportunity for families to engage with early literacy practices." The second Book Walk will be unveiled later this spring at Budd Park (located at St. John and Hardesty). This walk will feature Ina Cumpiano's "El Vecindario de Quinito" (Quinito's Neighborhood) in both Spanish and English.

In addition to promoting literacy, signs at each park will also provide information about the authors/illustrators, library card sign-ups, Library resources such as Dial-A-Story, and upcoming events at other area parks. The Book Walks are just one of many ways that Kansas City is promoting reading and outdoor activities for families in their community.

Filed Under: Government, Parks

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