Ppeople take a break. They are outside and act out of the ordinary – they sing, do jumping jacks, touch their toes, shake hands all around. They smile and laugh. What is going on?
It’s a silly walk, an offshoot of the Stroll-a-Story program that the Pikes Peak Library District launched during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide stories and activities for families during the library shutdown.
“The goal is to involve families in literacy while being outdoors – enjoying the outdoors, embracing this active lifestyle and involving literacy in it,” said Melody Alvarez, Director of PPLD’s Family and Children’s Services.
The idea for Stroll-a-Story came from a similar, trademarked program, Alvarez said. Initially, libraries would display the pages of storybooks on the windows of their buildings or outside around library property, sequentially, and families would naturally ‘walk’ around as they read the book. .
A year after the program launched, it has evolved into new forms suitable for all ages, including a silly ride, a math ride, and a coding ride.
In addition to area libraries and mobile libraries, Stroll-a-Story books have been published on storefronts in downtown Colorado Springs and at farmers’ markets, community centers, parks and spaces. open.
PPLD recently partnered with the Colorado Springs Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture to install Stroll-a-Stories in six parks and open spaces. The library bought copies of each book, took them apart, laminated the pages, and mounted them on stakes. Then the park staff placed them on the park trails.
Stroll-a-Stories Park is a way for the library to promote the Leave No Trace principles and its summer adventure program to families who might not visit the library. And it’s a fun surprise for families on the trail.
âI have a 4 year old and love hiking. If there was a Stroll-a-Story on the trail it would make it so much more enjoyable. It’s just a great way to keep families engaged, âAlvarez said.
Recently, a Stroll-a-Story was set up at Stratton Open Space, and there are Strolls at Red Rock Canyon Open Space and Ute Valley Park. They will stay until the screens are damaged by the elements.
âI hope there is a grant or something where we could partner with the parks and put some [Stroll-a-Story] structures, because I think it would be so amazing for families with small children, âsaid Alvarez.
Alvarez is currently working to bring Stroll-a-Story to Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs and Rockrimmon, and she said permanent Stroll-a-Story displays will be installed at two libraries in the future.
While visiting the libraries where there is a published Stroll-a-Story, Alvarez said his young daughter was thrilled.
âShe loves going to the Stroll-a-Stories, and she will run to them,â Alvarez said. âShe likes to read them and check them out. I know to have a little what excitement there is. Hope everyone feels like this.
For more information visit ppld.org/Stroll-a-Story.