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Outdoor reading initiative set to be a real page-turner

Published: 17 December 2021

Last Updated: 19 December 2021

Napier Libraries Story Walk Dec 2021 5

Napier is set to be the next city to adopt the world-renowned StoryWalk® initiative this summer: a unique, interactive activity that will get people out and about and entertained for free.

Napier’s libraries are introducing StoryWalk®, an innovative way for whānau and friends to read, get active and take in the beauty of Napier all at the same time, in a Covid-smart way.

StoryWalk® will be available from Saturday, 18 December to Saturday, 29 January 2022. Each pathway will feature books based on New Zealand native birds.

Kate Powis, Napier Libraries Children’s Librarian, says StoryWalk® leads people on a fun and entertaining journey and she is thrilled to bring the initiative to the Napier community.

“StoryWalk® inspires reading in a creative way – building youngsters’ literacy skills without them even knowing! It also encourages time with friends and whānau in a free space, where everyone is welcome,” Powis says.

The initiative will see pages from favourite New Zealand children’s books displayed on posts along three Napier pathways; Marine Parade, Taradale Park and Maraenui/Marewa Recreational Reserve. As people meander along, they can read the pages and be directed to the next page of the story further down the path. The full walk takes in the complete story from the front cover to the last page.

Spot prizes will be available to win, including family passes to local attractions, books and book vouchers. Participants will need to scan the QR code on the story board to enter. There will also be word finds, colouring-in and spot-the-difference activity sheets for children, available from the Napier and Taradale libraries.

StoryWalk® can be found at the following pathways:

Marine Parade: Along the Rotary Path behind Par2 Mini Golf to the Tom Parker Fountain.  Featured books: ‘Kaewa the Kororā’ and ‘Little Hoiho/Hoiho Paku’.

  • Taradale Park: Walkway from Taradale Library, towards Taradale Kindy and back to library.  Featured books: ‘Pee Wee the Lonely Kiwi’ and ‘Takahē Trouble’.
  • Maraenui/Marewa Recreational Reserve: Walkway from Nash Street towards Latham Street.
  • Featured books: ‘BatKiwi / Ko Pekakiwi’ and ‘There’s a Tūī in our Teapot/He Tūī kei rō Tīpāta’.

See the Napier Libraries website for more information.

About StoryWalk®

StoryWalk® was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT, in 2007. Ferguson, a chronic disease prevention specialist at the time, wanted to create something different, fun and interesting to promote early literacy, physical activity, and family time together in nature.

StoryWalk® was subsequently developed by Rachel Senechal, formerly of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. It has since been adopted in all 50 states of America and a further 12 countries around the world.

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