The recently installed "story walk" along the LaFayette Recreation Department Nature Trail offers the opportunity to simultaneously do two beneficial activities, exercising and reading, while staying safe outdoors during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Kathleen Salkeld, LaFayette-Walker County Public Library assistant manager and youth education coordinator, said the library created a temporary story walk, in which they attached laminated sheets attached to sticks along the Nature Trail, last summer and again around Christmastime.
Those were so successful that they wanted to create something more permanent, she said. LaFayette High School students constructed wooden podiums topped with plexiglass that were installed with concrete along the trail by the city's Recreation Department.
Every month, the pages of a new, kid-friendly book will be inserted into the podiums.
"It's a really neat, interactive way to bring reading to the community," said Rachel Oesch Willeford, president of the Friends of the LaFayette-Walker County Public Library nonprofit support group. "I think we are always looking for things to do with our kids and grandkids that are interactive."
Three copies of each book — two for the story walk, and one to go into circulation at the library — are paid for by community sponsorships.
The cost to sponsor a book is $25 a month, or $75 for the book chosen for the holiday season.
Books for the next 12 months have already been sponsored, but sponsorships for future books as well as podium sponsorships are still available, Willeford said.
The book for the month of May is Naoko Stoop's "Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree," about a little girl and her animal friends' adventures in the forest.
Future books include "Chapter 2 is Missing" by Josh Lieb and "Whobert Whover, Owl Detective" by Jason June.
The story walk is located outside LaFayette Recreation Department at 638 S. Main St.
To learn more about sponsorships, contact Willeford at 706-200-8099 or email@example.com.
Contact Emily Crisman at firstname.lastname@example.org