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Fourth Annual StoryWalk® to be Held May 25 in the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum Alley

Thu, 05/23/2024 - 04:09pm


Exercising body and mind through the joy of reading and a walk in an alley in downtown Hattiesburg will be the centerpieces of StoryWalk®, a unique concept combining physical activity and literacy will be held for the fourth year in a row on Saturday, May 25 from 9:30 a.m. - noon at the Pocket Museum.

StoryWalk® transforms the pages of a book into signs laid out on a trail inviting families, children, caregivers, teachers, and others to follow the path of pages. Created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, the now internationally popular StoryWalk® Project has taken place in all 50 states and beyond, including in Germany, Canada, England, Bermuda, Russia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and South Korea where projects have been installed. Many of these installations are permanent or semi-permanent.

Stacy Creel, an associate professor in The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) School of Library and Information Science (SLIS), spearheaded the move to bring StoryWalk® to Hattiesburg through the support of a community collaboration.  “The School of Library and Information Science is excited to return to the Pocket Museum Alley for our 4th annual StoryWalk®,” said Creel. “This event gets kids moving and reading and geared up for summer reading programs at their local libraries.”

The featured book for this year’s StoryWalk® will be What I Like About You, written by Marilynn James and illustrated by Miki Yamamoto.

The first 300 children arriving for the Hattiesburg StoryWalk® will be eligible to receive a free, brand-new and age-appropriate book for their reading pleasure. Although StoryWalk® is designed for younger children ages 1 – 7; older kids and adults can also join in the fun with other activities as they experience the joys of reading and exercise in the uniquely creative environment the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum offers. 

“The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum is proud to welcome StoryWalk® again this year,” said Vicki Taylor, HPM’s volunteer curator.  “It is so special to see the faces of the children when they receive a brand-new book to take home.

“The wonderment that StoryWalk® creates is what the Hattiesburg Pocket Museum is all about.”

The Library of Hattiesburg, Petal and Forrest County personnel will be on site promoting their Summer Reading Program, "Quest for Readalot", which features a medieval theme.  Students who register for the program will write their name on the Quest Scroll, receive their starter crown and jewels, and a bookmark log.  “We will also bring a craft for children to complete, which goes along with our ‘Quest for Readalot’ theme,” said Nancy Claypool, Youth Services Librarian.