Everyone is invited to celebrate a new feature in Joplin that will be fun for the whole family. On Thursday, November 5, City and community members will join One Joplin team members to introduce a StoryWalk in Leonard Park, located at 4th and Turk Avenue. A ribbon cutting with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors is set for 3:30 p.m. The group is asking everyone attending to please wear masks.
This fun activity is designed to engage children and their caregivers to read a children’s picture book outside. A StoryWalk is a series of signs featuring a page of a children’s picture book. Signs or pages are posted along a short walking path in sequence, engaging both reading and physical activity.
As a not-for-profit agency, One Joplin creates collaborative environments, so Joplin becomes a thriving community of great neighbors. Founded in 2015, One Joplin engages individuals and organizations from every sector to impact key community indicators. Member from both their Health Team and Literacy Team worked with the Joplin Public Library, Joplin Parks and Recreation and Joplin Health Department to introduce a StoryWalk in a Joplin Park.
“We’re thrilled to offer this unique feature to Joplin children and adults,” said Ashley Micklethwaite, Executive Director of One Joplin. “Encouraging literacy in a fun and outdoor environment has had a significant impact in other communities that have installed these books. We hope the community enjoys it and uses this to enjoy reading and getting exercise with their children.”
Leonard Park was selected for this first installation because of its proximity to McKinley Elementary School in the neighborhood. The park also offers other amenities including benches, playground, and shelter along with its accessible trail. Micklethwaite plans that One Joplin will work with its partners in creating other StoryWalks in Joplin.