Summertime! –Are you looking forward to being outside, exercising, and reading a good book? Here’s a great way to combine all three of these activities as you Walk and Read.
The idea is simple. A children’s book is mounted on boards and displayed page-by-page in shop windows. Families read the story as they stroll through town in this fun and kid-friendly activity.
My picture book, EVIE’S FIELD DAY: More Than One Way to Win, is the featured title this year in my home town of Kingsburg, California. Sponsored by the Kingsburg Friends of the Library, the walk begins and ends at the Kingsburg Branch Library where children receive a game card. There is an element of a scavenger hunt involved as children look for small clues on each book page and check them off as they read through town. When finished, their cards are entered into a raffle for sport games with the books theme. They also have the opportunity to sign up for the summer reading program.
Book walks can be created in a number of different ways. Some communities mount their book pages in StoryWalk® premade frames and post them outside in parks. Schools create book trails through their campus and churches sponsor book journeys featuring different holidays.
Here are a few suggestions to create a successful event:
Walk and Read events can be as short as a day or as long as a season. The Kingsburg Walk and Read is a one-month event.
The Walk and Read is a perfect way for the library to connect with the community. Our library administrator has developed wonderful relationships with the city administrators and shop keepers who are happy to showcase the event.
Make sure that you have permission from the publisher to use the book pages so that you don’t violate copyright laws. My publisher, Cardinal Rule Press, supports the use of their books in community book walks. If you are a librarian interested in learning more about free rights to their book posters, you can sign up here.
A book walk is a great way for authors to become more involved in their community. Reach out to the local parent magazines and neighborhood Facebook groups. People are curious about the writing process and how books are made.
Contact your local schools. The Kingsburg School District is encouraging students to get out to walk and read. They even sent copies of the book cards home with the children.
So, lace up your shoes and head outside for this FREE activity that promotes family health, literacy, and fun. And, don’t forget, Readers Always Win!
Claire Annette Noland is a children’s author who lives in Central California with her family and literary dog, Mr. Ernie. She loves to travel to new places, often through the pages of a book. Visit her website claireannettenoland.com , book blog A Field Trip Life or connect onInstagram @clairesfieldtriplife or Twitter @claire_noland