Thanks to sponsorship from PacificCare and Childcare Resource and Referral, the LRCA Holiday Storybook Stroll returns to downtown Ladysmith starting Dec. 7th and runs until Jan. 4th.
The first of four books will launch Dec. 7 with Santa Baby by Johnathon Stutzman, followed by The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli on Dec 14th and Who Will Pull Santa’s Sleigh by Russ Willms on Dec 21st and finally, the winter classic, The Snowy Day on Dec 28th.
Holiday Storybook Stroll maps are available online or at the Ladysmith Chamber and Visitor Centre (Number One on the map this year) and the LRCA offices on Second Avenue. Downloadable maps are available online at this LINK.
The map showcases participating business and features a QR code that can be scanned for a chance to win a basket of book featured on the stroll all funded by PacificCare Childcare Resources and Referral.
Another sponsor supporting the stroll this year is Ladysmith Community Health Care Services with the book, Who Will Pull Santa’s Sleigh?
The Holiday Storybook Stroll is free and self-guided. Book pages will continue to be displayed after hours to accommodate family schedules.
For the latest information about the Holiday Storybook Stroll and other Storybook projects around town, join Ladysmith Storybook Walk group on Facebook. The project is spearheaded by literacy advocate, Tanya Reid, coordinator of the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association Adventures in Early Literacy (AEL) program.
By now, many keen readers in Ladysmith have been to Kinsmen Park to enjoy the picture book pages displayed on handmade signs (thanks to Ladysmith Rotary) located through the trees, around the playground and across the grass.
This is the Storybook Walk and it’s part of a unique project spearheaded by literacy advocate, Tanya Reid, coordinator of the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association Adventures in Early Literacy (AEL) program.
When she first came across the idea in August of 2020, Reid didn’t have to look far to rustle up support for the project which allows families an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while reading a book at the same time. Although the project, backed by a community grant from the Ladysmith Credit Union and supported by Ladysmith Parks, Recreation and Culture was only meant to last 24 weeks when it officially launched in February of 2021, the overwhelming success (and continued support from Ladysmith Rotary and the Town of Ladysmith) has kept it going to this day.
The outpouring of support from the voracious little readers (and their big people) has inspired Tanya to embark on more literacy projects around town.
In December of 2021, she went door to door downtown and rallied up a total of 17 businesses and organizations to take part in a holiday-themed storybook stroll whereby pages of books were displayed in windows. Readers followed a map to find the pages which were elaborately framed thanks to the art students from Ladysmith Secondary School. And speaking of students, classrooms full of them marched their little feet along First Ave to read the books. A busload came from Nanaimo, and several daycares in town made it their weekly trek. The overall participation once again exceeded expectations. One business, Royal LePage even decorated their windows to correspond with all the book characters showcased throughout the month.
“As the first week of January drew to a close, I figured everyone was sick of anything holiday related and so when I began taking down the song-based book We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Helaine Becker from the windows, the last thing I expected was to run into a group of adults mid-song still enjoying the book! I knew I had to keep the pop-up storybook walks going in some way,” said Reid .
“Fun is something we all need. And if we can have fun reading, even better!”
And so, there was love-filled pop-up storybook walk for Valentine’s Day and a Pirate-themed page hunt at the Community Marina in June. And, thanks to sponsorship from PacificCare and Childcare Resource and Referral, there will be another Holiday Storybook Stroll downtown starting Dec. 7th and running until Jan. 4th.