Clearwater StoryWalk Program Encourages Outdoor Activity, Literacy for Children This Summer In Downtown Clearwater

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The city of Clearwater’s Community Redevelopment Agency, the Clearwater Library System, and Sustainability Division have launched Clearwater StoryWalk, a program that will place pages of children’s books in storefront windows and kiosks throughout downtown.

The Clearwater StoryWalk program will launch in concert with the Clearwater Library System’s 2021 Summer Reading Program. Beginning June 5, participants can take a self-guided outdoor walking tour that displays pages of a children’s book, with a new book debuting each month.

“We’re excited to pilot a program that provides a fun, free activity for families in Downtown Clearwater and involve our downtown businesses in the process,” said Community Redevelopment Director Amanda Thompson.

The three books selected in the Clearwater StoryWalk pilot program all have an environmental and wellness focus for children. The first, “Lola Plants A Garden,” will be on display from June 5 to June 30, followed by “Happy: A Beginner’s Book of Mindfulness” in July, and finally “Over in the Garden” in August.

The outdoor walking route runs from the Clearwater Main Library along Osceola Avenue, down and back up Cleveland Street (total walking route is less than 1 mile), utilizing downtown storefront windows and city kiosks. There is free parking at the Clearwater StoryWalk starting point at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave.

Participating businesses will have a 2′ x 3′ poster display in their windows and will also suggest “active reading questions” for guardians and children to discuss on their way to the next book page. For the June 5 launch, participating businesses include:

  • Clearwater Main Library
  • Kara Lynn’s Kitchen
  • Station Square Realty
  • Bella Hair Studio
  • Signworx
  • Anytime Fitness
  • 530 Pub & Grill
  • Soul Sicilian Fusion
  • Clear Sky on Cleveland
  • Roxy’s
  • Valor Capital

From June 5 through June 30, participants can drop into the Clearwater Main Library Youth Department on the second floor after completing the walk to pick up a complementary new book.

Stop by throughout the month at the Youth Department to pick up a Mary Mary craft at the service desk. Participants are encouraged to log their Clearwater StoryWalk reading achievement with the library’s new Beanstack app, a free online service which offers new ways to connect children with books and educational reading activities that match each person’s interests, age, and reading level.

Completing the Clearwater StoryWalk will also earn you an activity challenge badge in the library’s online summer reading program. Sign up for summer reading using the Beanstack app here https://myclearwaterlibrary.beanstack.org/reader365

For the Clearwater StoryWalk map, participating businesses, and details, head to myclearwater.com/storywalk. Participants can share their experience on social media using #ClearwaterStorywalk.

The StoryWalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

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